Built in 1973, the Columbia Street Pump Station is located in Vancouver's historic Gastown neighbourhood. Due to operational concerns and capacity constraints, in 2001, the Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District decided to upgrade the existing facility, and retained Associated Engineering to provide design and contract administration services.
The pump station has an initial design capacity of 455 L/s (three pumps) and an ultimate capacity of 540 L/s (four pumps). Pumps are located in two, self-cleaning, trench-style wet wells. Grit removal chambers are located upstream of the pumps. Variable frequency drives control operation of each of the pumps.
Key considerations during design were the narrow lot, site constraints, and the need to maintain the pump station in service during construction. The architecture of the new facility had to blend in with the heritage neighbourhood. The City also requested educational display panels, canopy for pedestrian shelter, lighting for pedestrian and display areas, and landscaping.
The design included noise and odour mitigation, a new, 12.5 kV dual, high voltage electrical service, and modifications to the 600 mm diameter sanitary sewer.