COQUITLAM, B.C., May 17, 2021 – When you pour a glass of water, flush the toilet or drive down a freshly ploughed street, do you think about who made it possible?
During National Public Works Week May 16 to 22, Coquitlam is encouraging the community to recognize the people behind the essential services they rely on every day – roads and sidewalks, water and sewers, garbage and organics collection, flood protection and more.
These everyday heroes work behind the scenes to improve quality of life and keep homes and the City functioning. This year’s National Public Works Week theme is Stronger Together, highlighting the important role Public Works plays in creating great places to live.
Helping You Every Day
Our lives are touched by Public Works every day – for example, when we take a shower or run the dishwasher, flush the toilet, rely on a street sign, move around the City, enjoy litter-free public spaces, have our garbage or organics picked up, and more.
Part of Coquitlam’s Engineering and Public Works department, the Public Works division is responsible for operations and maintenance of:
- Roads, bridges, sidewalks, boulevards and street fixtures (e.g., fire hydrants and signs) – including street sweeping and ploughing, pavement repairs, sign replacement and vegetation control;
- Drinking water systems – including reservoir cleaning and yearly watermain flushing;
- Drainage and sanitary sewer systems – including environmental and flood protection;
- Solid waste services – including curbside pick-up of garbage and organics, large item pick-up and litter collection; and
- Corporate fleet – including vehicles and equipment and a growing “ecofleet” of electric, hybrid and compact vehicles.
The division also provides 24/7 emergency services for water, sewer, drainage and roads, as well as handles customer complaints and requests, and provides administrative services for the division such as payroll, accounting and event support.
Public Works Stats and Facts
Did you know that in north Coquitlam, water is pumped 352 metres up the hill – 28 metres higher than the Eiffel Tower? Or that the City has about 20,000 signs? Or that every summer, the City works with Metro Vancouver to ensure migrating toads can safely cross Quarry Road?
The statistics help tell the story of the impact of Public Works. In 2020, despite the pandemic, the Public Works team:
- Handled 3,900 service requests;
- Cleaned 46 km of watermains and 128 km of sanitary sewers;
- Swept 11,798 km of roads;
- Maintained 1,592 km of pipe and 73 pump stations;
- Provided 355 litres of total water per capita each day;
- Managed biweekly garbage and weekly organics pickup from 25,000 homes; and
- Managed collection of over 9,600 items through the Large Item Pick-up Program.
The City’s road, drainage and water systems stretch many thousands of kilometres and include thousands of elements that Public Works monitors and maintains, including:
- 1,130 lane km of asphalt and 574 km of sidewalk;
- Over 561 km of storm water mains/culverts and 4km of dike maintained by the City; and
- Over 514 km of water mains, 2,734 hydrants, 6,400 valves, 10 reservoirs, 1,201 ICI water meters, 11 pump stations, 26,616 water service connections and 45-plus pressure-regulating chambers – soon to be 47.
For more information about Public Works, visit www.coquitlam.ca/publicworks.
Director, Public Works
City of Coquitlam