Engineering & Public Works
“To provide sustainable infrastructure, environmental leadership, and service excellence, which is essential to the health, safety, mobility, and quality of life for our community.”
The division is divided into the following departments and sections:
Current Engineering Planning
In day-to day operations, Engineering Planning completes the design review and approval of all engineering drawings pertaining to single-family development applications, multi-family development applications and private utility designs. Aside from design reviews, they also manage submissions for Local Improvement Petitions (LIP), watercourse crossing applications and non-storm water discharge applications. Engineering Planning is responsible for monitoring the citywide water metering program and operating the various water conservation programs available for Richmond residents.
Long Range Engineering Planning
The department develops budgets and provides the long-term infrastructure planning for all underground utilities (storm drainage, water and sanitary), including private utilities (Telus, B.C. Hydro, Terasen Gas, etc.). Guided by the Flood Protection Management Strategy, they also plan and develop future dike improvements. Furthermore, they monitor the condition of roads, water, sanitary, sewer and dike networks to establish future upgrades and improvements to address population growth, climate change and ageing infrastructure.
Geographic Information System (GIS)
The Engineering Department’s key functions are planning, developing and sustaining civil infrastructure. Geographic Information System (GIS) technology provides the tools for creating, managing, analyzing, and visualizing the data associated with civil infrastructure. Data helps organizations and governments work together to develop sustainable development and GIS is a key resource in supporting all phases of the infrastructure life cycle. Engineering Planning uses location intelligence for civil infrastructure as well as interfacing with other software as a resource for asset management, asset maintenance and asset benchmarking.
The department prepares drafting standards to ensure drawings meet the City’s engineering standards. Engineering Planning maintains over 100,000 engineering drawings either in paper or digital format and creates maps for clients ranging from residents to City Council.
Engineering Design & Construction
Design and Project Management
Detailed design and project management services are provided to deliver the current year's civil infrastructure capital program in a timely fashion within approved budgets. Design includes research of current technologies to deliver cost effective capital infrastructure.
Construction Cost Estimating
Detailed civil construction cost estimates are provided to establish capital project budgets, and for project cost control.
Engineering survey services are provided for capital project design, construction layout, construction quantity estimates, maintenance of the City of Richmond survey monument and benchmark system, and monitor of the City dyking system.
Construction inspections are provided to monitor the quality of materials and workmanship on City capital construction projects, and subdivision developments. Specialized services are also provided for closed circuit television inspection to assess installed underground pipelines, geotechnical materials testing to assess fills and pavements, and sewer flow monitoring to assess quantity of sewage discharge.
Blue Box and Blue Cart Recycling
Weekly curbside collection for recycling paper and newsprint, glass, plastic containers, empty aerosol cans, milk cartons, plastic/paper drink cups, spiral wound containers, and tin and aluminium containers. This program is provided to more than 72,200 residential units in single-family homes, townhomes and multi-family units.
Green Cart Recycling
Collection for recycling foods scraps and yard trimmings. This program is provided to residents in single-family homes and townhomes as well as multi-family complexes.
Drop-off service for products ranging from yard trimmings and household items, to hazardous materials and take-back program products. This service is available to all residents and in limited quantities for commercial operators. The Depot also sells compost bins, rain barrels, Garbage Tags and Garbage Vouchers.
Composting at Home
Support for residential composting includes the sale of compost bins, a composting demonstration garden and related workshops. These services are available to all residents.
Curbside Garbage Collection
Bi-weekly curbside collection of garbage, not including banned items such as hazardous waste and materials that can be recycled, is available to residents in single-family homes and some townhomes.
Extra Garbage Disposal
Garbage disposal tags and vouchers for the Vancouver Landfill provide options for residents when they need to dispose of additional garbage or large items.
Large Item Pick-Up Program
Residents in single-family homes, some townhomes and some multi-family complexes can arrange for collection of four large household items per year.
Community and School Engagement
Through partnerships with students, teachers and the School District, Richmond sponsors educational shows, awareness programs and volunteer opportunities to increase understanding of recycling and the benefits of reducing waste.
City crews collect litter and abandoned waste from parks, bus stops, dykes and open spaces at various frequencies to meet peak seasonal demands.
The City’s “Partner for Beautification” program encourages the community to become involved in litter pickup and other clean-up initiatives by “adopting” various areas throughout the City. This program goes a long way towards enhancing Richmond’s overall appearance.
For more information and a complete overview of the services provided please visit: https://www.richmond.ca/services/recycling/service.htm
Contacts: Environmental Programs
Facilities and Project Development
"To provide the community with quality City Buildings in a responsible manner".
The Capital Buildings Project Development department provides a corporate service for the City's accommodation needs and is responsible for the planning, design development and construction of both new and existing Community, Corporate and Operations building infrastructure.
This infrastructure includes Community Centres (Arenas, Pools, Libraries, Theatres, Heritage and Museums); Community Safety Buildings (Police, Courts and Fire Rescue); Corporate (City Hall, Public Works Yard); and Operations (Workshops, Garage, Stores, Pump Stations).
Areas of Responsibility
- Lifecycle planning and scheduling of "Cyclical" maintenance needs for exterior building envelope, interior refurbishment, life safety, mechanical and electrical systems plant replacement.
- Planning, scheduling and budget estimating for facility replacement and/or major renovations.
- Construction project supervision and liaison between Corporate Clients, Community, Consultants and Contractors.
- Post Construction Commissioning.
Contacts:Capital Buildings Project Development
- About City Hall
- All Buildings List
- City Bylaws
- Richmond Interactive Map (RIM)
Overview of Services & ProgramsFacility Services oversees:
Facility Health & SafetyTo ensure the building staff and public enjoy a wonderful time.
- Fire Systems
- Access Control
- Security Systems
- Mechanical Systems
Facility Maintenance & RepairsTo ensure the operation of the building to support programs.
- Demand Requests
- Planned Requests
- Preventative Requests
Facility Energy ManagementTo conserve energy.
- Mechanical Systems
- Lighting Systems
Facility Janitorial ServicesTo ensure health & cleanliness.
Facility Painting ProgramsTo ensure a colourful experience.
Work Control Centre
Emergency Contact for Building Maintenance Issues
The Work Control Centre is the primary contact for all building maintenance needs and emergency issues for all City owned buildings. This call centre can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week:
Emergency Contact for Other City-related Issues
In the case of an emergency such as broken water mains, sewer problems, downed trees on roads, traffic lights out, or icy roads, please call the City's 24 Hour City Emergency Line at 604-270-8721.
To find out how to report graffiti on City owned buildings please see the Graffiti Hotline page in the Property Bylaws section.
EquipmentProvides skilled operators for trucks, equipment, welding services to the City. They also provide a 24 hour/7 day a week Utility Operation which provides emergency barricades and the collection of dead animal from our roads.
Can easily be described as a corporate "Rental Agency". The business has an income generated from monthly or hourly charges for equipment rental, equipment replacement reserves, operating expenses with a very minor annual "profit". This section manages the operational and financial aspects of the section's activities.
Maintenance and Repair ServicesMaintains and repairs the city's fleet and small equipment with certified mechanics, lubrication section, tire specialists and service technicians.
Provides driver training and education programs to ensure safe practices, mitigate liabilities and driver benefits through substantially reduced insurance premiums. Full commercial driver training is carried out and licensing issued as required by Provincial regulations.
Green Fleet Action Plan
Richmond’s action plan and business strategy for improving fuel efficiency, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reducing overall environmental impact of equipment and vehicle operations.
The Green Fleet Action Plan highlights actions taken to date to reduce corporate emissions, establishes proposed reduction targets, and presents recommendations and detailed actions to achieve them.
See our Green Fleet Action Plan in the Sustainability and Environment section.
Sustainability and District Energy
Richmond recognizes the importance of creating a sustainable community. It is a core strategy for achieving our corporate vision of "being the most appealing, livable and well-managed community in Canada". Working towards sustainability means living within limits, understanding the interconnections and interdependence among the economy, society and the environment, and the equitable distribution of resources and opportunities. Our vision of a sustainable Richmond is a healthy, safe and enriched island community with an innovative and prosperous economy and thriving natural systems, sustained for current and future generations.
The long-term livability of our city depends upon our natural environment – the quality of the air we breathe, the water we drink and the land upon which we live and grow our food.
The City practices continual improvement and collaboration with other levels of government, businesses, and the Richmond community to ensure that a healthy environment exists well into the future.
Examples of initiatives and policies include:
- integration of environmental policies into the City’s Official Community Plan;
- integration of community input into decision-making through the City’s Advisory Committee on the Environment (ACE);
- greening our corporate practices, including the environmentally-award winning City Hall;
- greening the built-form of the community and encouraging environmentally friendly lifestyle choices;
- protecting natural resources through City parks and Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESA); and
- understanding and monitoring environmental quality through the City’s State of Environment report.
District energy utilities are systems that centralize energy production for space and water heating and, in Richmond’s case, to service mainly residential and commercial customers. The City currently operates the Alexandra District Energy Utility (ADEU) in the West Cambie neighbourhood. Using heat pumps and a network of vertical pipe loops, ADEU extracts thermal energy (heat) from the ground to supply customers with heat for their homes or businesses. During the summer, the energy flow is reversed and heat is pumped into the ground to cool homes. The City is currently investigating other areas for district energy system expansion, mainly in the City Centre area.
- Public Works Administration
- Fleet Operations
- Environmental Programs
- Roads & Construction Services
- Sewerage & Drainage Services
- Water Services
The mandate of the Administrative Services Section is to provide support services to all Public Works personnel at the Works Yard in the following major areas:
- Dispatch Operation
- Administrative Services
- Communications Technical Services
- 24 hour Dispatch Operation which records and relays a variety of messages, instructions and enquiries between the public, field crews and supervisory staff.
- Administrative Services provides word processing services, training coordination, coordination/preparation of the annual operating budget and general administrative support to all Public Works Staff.
- Communications Technical Services is responsible for:
- Maintenance of the full Works Yard communications system, which consists of more than 400 radio units including mobile, portable and desk top models.
- Maintenance of the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) System which is a radio-controlled computerized monitoring system. This system monitors all 180 of our pumping stations throughout the island. These include sewage, water, storm drain, dike stations, water pressure sensors and road temperature sensors.
- Maintenance of our life line monitoring systems (i.e., calibration of gas sniffing devices used by staff prior to entering a manhole). Monitoring devices on all pump stations, along with metal detectors and other specialized equipment.
- Installation of various intercoms and sound systems in a variety of City buildings.
Roads and Construction
The Roads and Construction Services is divided into the following sections:
TradesEnsures that the quality of supplied materials and workmanship meets City standards and specifications in the maintenance and minor construction of Richmond's infrastructure. This section provides the following services:
- Maintenance of centre line and cross walk markings on all City Roads
- Maintenance of traffic and regulatory signage
- Street light maintenance
This section is also responsible to the City by providing services within the following trade disciplines:
- Cement and Masonry Finishers
- Paint Shop
- Sign Manufacturing
Dike Maintenance and Irrigation Services SectionEnsures that the integrity of Richmond's dike network through regular maintenance and repair program meets the Provincial Diking Authority requirements. It supplies the following service:
- Liaises with provincial Dike Inspector annually and Federal Fisheries and Fraser River Estuary Management Program agencies regarding compensation for habitat areas when external dike repairs are required to the foreshore prior to commencement of such work in assigned Red Zones,
- Schedules annual brushing program for dike crests and slopes. This entails the removal of all vegetation growth other than grass during the dormant months from November to March,
- Inspects dike for animal dens and arranges for their removal/relocation (beavers, muskrats and rats),
- Inspects dike on regular basis for visible areas of damage due to erosion or wave action, rip rap slippage, high tides and contractors with a dike crossing permit, and
- Surveys the dike elevations annually over a five year cycle.
- Liaises with the Farmer Institute and individual crop & berry farmers for water requirements during growing and harvesting seasons, and
- Regulates inlet valves at the various dike pumping stations, the irrigation pump station (No. 8 Road and River Road), and internal weirs for water requirements, taking into consideration tidal conditions and weather so flooding does not occur.
Road Construction and Repair SectionEnsures that the quality of supplied materials and workmanship meets City standards and specifications in the maintenance and minor construction of Richmond's road network. This section provides the following services:
Road Maintenance - maintains City asphalt roadways, asphalt & gravel laneways, parking lots and gravel shoulders in the following areas:
- Responds to complaints of potholes in roads,
- Repairs or re-level road cuts from various utility installations that have settled, causing vibrations to home owners or businesses,
- Repairs asphalt areas which have failed due to wear or other causes,
- Maintains all gravel shoulders annually for potholes on main roads and bi-annually for subdivisions, and
- Schedules the grading and compaction of all gravel roads and laneways as required.
Road Construction is active in minor capital or receivable projects:
- Sub base preparation for the installation of curb, gutter, sidewalk, road widening and conduit for traffic signals as required,
- Re-instatement of asphalt surface to proper standards after installation of water or sewer services, and
- Final re-instatement of foreign utility cuts to City standards.
Road ProgramsEnsures the integrity of Richmond's road network through timely maintenance by the most economical means. It supplies the following services:
- Asphalt capping program carried out from April to October annually,
- Crack sealing program which involves the application of liquid asphalt into fractures in the road to prevent water from infiltrating into the sub-base. The projected life of this product is 5 years,
- Street sweeping program removes dirt and debris from City streets. Main roads are swept on a routing basis, but are also maintained as a result of complaints due to various sources. Subdivisions and industrial roads are scheduled to be swept four times annually. Hand sweeping is conducted in areas in which the machines cannot access,
- Dust control is done by applying a dust suppressant (approximately 25% calcium chloride and 75% water) to reduce dust problems on gravel roads, laneways, parking lots and wide road shoulders,
- Snow and Ice Control is done to maintain safe driving conditions in adverse winter weather by the de-icing of roads or the removal of snow. Main roads and bus routes are given first priority, collector roads and Industrial roads are given second priority, and
- Other duties include the Maintenance of the No. 2 Road Bridge expansion joints and sidewalks, cleanup of road ends where illegal dumping has occurred and construction of small or receivable projects.
Sewerage and Drainage
Drainage/Storm Sewer SectionResponsible for the drainage and conveyance of rainwater deposited over the entire area of Richmond. Crews are responsible for the maintenance of box culverts, pipeline, manholes, catch basins and inspection chambers. This section responds to approximately 400 public requests per year. This section also coordinates the ditch and canal cleaning program for the City.
Sanitary Sewer SectionResponsible for ensuring the waste water is collected and deposited through the pipe network to the sanitary pump stations. Maintenance work includes the annual flushing program, as well as routine work relating to manholes and inspection chambers. Crews respond to demand maintenance work in situations where sewer mains backup or collapse.
Pump Stations SectionEnsures that all 153 sanitary pump stations are operating to ensure the collection of the sanitary waste is pumped to the forcemain which moves the material to Metro Vancouver treatment plants for processing. There are 39 drainage pump stations to pump rain and ground water deposited in the open ditches and pipes out to the river. The 39 drainage pump stations have the capability of pumping up to 5.2 million litres per minute when running at full capacity. These stations are visited on a daily basis to ensure water access to the pumps is maintained.
Responsibilities of this section are maintenance of watermains, water connections, water meters, fire hydrants, valves, pressure reducing valve stations and proving excellent customer service.