Engineering & Public Works

The Engineering & Public Works Mission Statement is:
“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:


Engineering Planning

The Engineering Planning section is responsible for current and long-range infrastructure planning, development review, the Geographic Information System (GIS), and drafting standards.

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 Planning

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Engineering Design & Construction

Design and project managementThe Engineering Design and Construction section is responsible for overseeing the design and construction of the civil infrastructure for the City of Richmond. The section maintains the design and construction standards for the City's civil infrastructure with an aim towards installation of cost-effective, enduring infrastructure. The City's civil infrastructure includes the road, lane and street system, public walkways and paths, street lighting, water distribution network, sanitary sewer system, storm sewer system, drainage ditches, and dykes. Services are delivered in four main areas:

Design and Project Management

Construction cost estimateDetailed 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.


Engineering Design & Construction

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Environmental Programs

The City of Richmond offers a number of comprehensive services designed to ensure a clean, livable and sustainable community for current and future generations. The Environmental Programs Department is responsible for coordinating the following services on behalf of residents:

Family Garbage & Recycling

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.

Recycling Depot

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.

Litter Collection

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.

Contacts: Environmental Programs

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Facilities and Project Development

The Facilities Services section provides operations and maintenance services for all City facilities. These service areas include preventative maintenance, administering security systems and access controls, providing janitorial services, and supporting energy management initiatives. The Project Development section plans and manages major maintenance and capital improvement programs for the City’s existing facilities and also delivers the annual capital program and major projects.

Capital Buildings Project Development

Mission Statement: "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.


Capital Buildings Project Development

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Facility Services

The Facility Services section administers all maintenance services for all 170(+) City owned buildings, rental properties and 50(+) rental houses. In addition to all planned maintenance and demand maintenance requests, this section also administers the facility energy management program, janitorial support, fire life safety systems, as well as building and staff security systems.

Facility Services Collage

Facility Services oversees:

Facility Health & Safety

To ensure the building staff and public enjoy a wonderful time.

  • Fire Systems
  • Access Control
  • Security Systems
  • Mechanical Systems

 Facility Maintenance & Repairs

To ensure the operation of the building to support programs.

  • Demand Requests
  • Planned Requests
  • Preventative Requests

 Facility Energy Management

To conserve energy.
  • Mechanical Systems
  • Lighting Systems

 Facility Janitorial Services

To ensure health & cleanliness.

Facility Painting Programs

To ensure a colourful experience.

Facility Services Infographic

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:
Phone: 604-233-3307

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.


Facility Services

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Fleet Operations

Fleet Operations provides, manages and operates a mixed fleet of vehicles, heavy equipment and an assortment of specialized work units for the City operations. The Section works in compliance with Provincial and Federal safety regulations. This section is responsible for Equipment, Operational, Maintenance and Repair Services, and Driver Training.


Provides 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 Services

Maintains and repairs the city's fleet and small equipment with certified mechanics, lubrication section, tire specialists and service technicians.

Driver Training

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.


Fleet Operations

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Sustainability and District Energy

A livable, healthy community requires a long-term commitment to economic, social, and environmental well-being. City Council has recognized the importance of improving Richmond’s sustainability performance by making it one of their term goals for the 2011-2014 term of office. The Sustainability and District Energy Unit responds to this goal, and helps the City assume a stronger, more proactive leadership role in sustainability performance. Working with other Divisions, utilities and community organizations, we develop integrated social, economic and environmental strategies and support or deploy initiatives that Richmond’s sustainability transition.


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.

Environmental Sustainability

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

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.


Sustainability & District Energy

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Public Works

The Public Works department provides core City services essential to the health, safety, mobility and quality of life to Richmond residents and businesses. This work is carried out by the following sections:
  • 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

Services Provided

  • 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:
    1. Maintenance of the full Works Yard communications system, which consists of more than 400 radio units including mobile, portable and desk top models.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Installation of various intercoms and sound systems in a variety of City buildings.

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Public Works Administration, Emergency Contacts

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Roads and Construction

Roads and Construction Services has an effective work force that meets the service needs of the community in a financially responsible way. This is accomplished by establishing new service-orientated approaches (efficiencies) and challenging (reviewing) current service levels on a continual basis.

The Roads and Construction Services is divided into the following sections:


Ensures 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:

  • Carpentry
  • Electrical
  • Cement and Masonry Finishers
  • Paint Shop
  • Sign Manufacturing

Dike Maintenance and Irrigation Services Section

Ensures 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:

Dike Maintenance

  • 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 Section

Ensures 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 Programs

Ensures 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.

Contact Us:

Roads and Construction Services

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Sewerage and Drainage

The Sewerage and Drainage Department is responsible for the draining of ground water, the conveyance of sanitary sewage for the City of Richmond. Sewerage and Drainage is divided into three sections as follows:

Drainage/Storm Sewer Section

Responsible 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 Section

Responsible 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 Section

Ensures 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.

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Sewerage & Drainage

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Water Services

The Water Services section provides, operates and maintains services that are necessary to supply high-quality drinking water to the public. They must also maintain volume and pressure levels to meet fire flow demand while continually maintaining and improving the water distribution system.

Responsibilities of this section are maintenance of watermains, water connections, water meters, fire hydrants, valves, pressure reducing valve stations and proving excellent customer service.

Watermain Maintenance

Involves the daily maintenance for repair of watermains, flushing to maintain water quality, inspection and monitoring of the cathodic protection system to protect steel watermains from corrosion. Construction involves replacement of watermains which have reached the end of their economic maintenance life cycle or that are undersized for the service area.

Water Connection Maintenance

Involves the daily maintenance for the repair, renewal, disconnection, and locating of water connections that services individual properties. These are the lines that supply water from the watermain to the customers point-of-use.

Water Meter Maintenance

Involves the repair, replacement, delivery, installation, reading and testing of water meters. The meters record the amount of water a customer consumes and bill accordingly. The sewage cost to the customer is directly proportionate to their water usage.

Fire Hydrant Maintenance

Involves the repair, servicing, testing, painting and clearing of fire hydrants. The fire hydrants are maintained to the fire code standards. This section responds when a fire hydrant has been damaged in a motor vehicle accident.

Valve Maintenance

Involves the repair, replacement, painting, clearing and cleaning of control valves. These are key components of the system as they serve to isolate areas of the system for repair. As an area increases in population density, additional valves are installed to lessen the impact of watermain shut downs.

Pressure Reducing Stations Maintenance

The water system has 12 pressure reducing valve stations which reduce Metro Vancouver's higher operational pressure down to one that is manageable for Richmond's water distribution system. The stations are connected to a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system that provides information to the Works Yard such as water pressure, quality and volume. The activities in the area involve the repair, servicing and monitoring key components of the system.

Customer Service

Water Services responds to a large volume of requests for service from the public. The types of services provided include: "turn-off" and "turn-on" for private repairs, location of water utilities, flow testing, advice on repairs, and inquires on water quality, low pressure, frozen services connections, water meters and water restrictions.

Emergency Service Response

Water Services provides emergency service response 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Emergency response is an important function in maintaining a pressurized water system, avoiding or minimizing the amount of damage to property, both private and public.

General Information

Overview of the Water Distribution System

Richmond's waterworks inventory consists of 633 km of watermains. In addition, there are 12 pressure reducing valve stations, where the water pressure from Metro Vancouver is reduced to one that is manageable for Richmond's water distribution system.

Water Restrictions

From May to October each year, water restrictions are in effect throughout Metro Vancouver, including the City of Richmond. These restrictions are required to conserve the region's limited water supply, which are particularly needed throughout the summer months.

Flushing Watermains

The flushing practice ensures high-quality tap water by moving water through the pipes and eliminating stagnant water at dead-ends. The pipes are cleared and the risk of high HPC levels, which lead to bacteria re-growth, is significantly reduced.

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Water Services

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Engineering & Public Works