The Town of Vermilion has approved a slope assessment to make sure the riverbank won’t cave in when crews install the new sewer trunk line.
The work will be done by engineering and consulting firm SolidEarth Geotechnical Inc. for $16,200.
The Municipal Stimulus Program Grant will cover the cost as well as the GST and a contingency of $1,620.
“To a certain extent we are doing it to protect the contractor, but this would ease the risk on their assessment,” said Derek Young, Director of Planning & Infrastructure.
“We do have some active slides in our area (on the east side of Highway 41). The assessment will reduce risk and increase our knowledge, benefiting the project going forward.”
The town’s hope is that with risk eased, the cost of installing the sewer trunk main would essentially be reduced. He said there has been stability work done in the past, but it is at the end of its life.
With erosion and drainage slowly chipping away at the riverbank, he said there is a leaning power pole near the ATCO Electric transmission line.
Young says it is not in imminent danger but should be replaced in the next couple of years, and he plans to approach ATCO to see if they can create a plan going forward to protect both of their assets.
SolidEarth has already completed a desktop geohazard assessment and geotechnical investigation for the sewer trunk line and have concerns for going ahead due to the slow erosion in the area.
The next assessment will identify bank stability and how safe it is to cut a trench two-three metres deep in an area that has some soft sandstone.
“This study will look at requirements for the contractor and what they can expect for how the groundwater behaves to make sure it is safe to have someone go in and install a new sewer line,” said Young.
“Keeping everybody safe is the plan,” said Clint McCullough, town councillor and committee chairperson.