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September 21, 2018

Banff Springs Hotel to upgrade sanitary service infrastructure to prevent further sewage spills into river


Work is getting underway to upgrade the Banff Springs Hotel’s sanitary sewer lines in a bid to prevent further sewage spills into the Spray River.

The Banff Springs plans to reroute its sanitary service infrastructure and the Town of Banff wants the municipality’s manhole, currently near the Spray River below the Waldhaus Restaurant, moved to a less environmentally sensitive area.

Although the final design is not yet approved, Town officials say the municipality is obligated under its sewer system bylaw to install a new tie-in point from the hotel’s service to the utility service main.

About $280,000 is earmarked for the Town’s part of the project.

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“We’ve had a few upsets in the past where we’ve had environmental release into the Spray,” said Paul Godfrey, the Town of Banff’s director of operations.

“This will enable their pipe to come further into the roadway away from the river itself where they’ll tie into our system.”

In March this year, between 10 and 20 cubic metres of raw sewage discharged into the Spray River, which connects to the Bow River. A full bathtub holds about one cubic metre of water.

That was the second time since the previous November that a clogged pipe in the catchment area for the Banff Springs Hotel led to a sewage spill. The November incident saw an estimated 7.2 cubic metres of raw sewage forced out of the manhole.

The sewer pipe was clogged with clumps of grease, rags, paper towels, baby wipes, even rubber gloves.

Town officials said an investigation after the March sewage discharge revealed that Banff Springs Hotel’s private property infrastructure leading to the Town’s manhole was in need of significant repairs.

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