Geomatics & Engineering

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Department Overview

The Engineering Department has four staff members, and two seasonal summer students. Under the direction of the Engineering Director, their primary responsibility is to make recommendations on required drainage and capital construction projects within the R.M. and to provide Engineering services in the areas of new technology implementation, program development, assessment, survey, design, project management, and G.I.S. management.

The Engineering Department is responsible for approximately $4 - 6 million in work annually.

Typical large scale capital projects would include:
  • Sewer or Water Line Installations
  • Sewer Lift Station Installations
  • Water Treatment Plant Construction
  • Sewage Lagoon Construction
  • Flood Retention Structures
  • Road Reconstruction
  • Bridge Rehabilitation/Reconstruction
  • Drainage Projects
  • The Department also looks after the design and construction review of larger developments, as well as aggregate sales and leases.

Department Staff & Roles

Mike Wels, Project Manager (Transportation):
  • Project Planning and Management
  • Develop Standard Construction Specifications as Required
  • Infrastructure Asset Management
  • New Development Infrastructure Review and Inspection
  • Subdivision Review
Hilary Dixon, Project Manager (Drainage)
  • Lot grading
  • Topographical surveys
  • Drainage surveys, designs, estimates and licensing
  • Project Planning and Management of drainage projects.
  • Drafting of plans and profiles
Jeremy Smith, Surveyor:
  •  Surveying
  • Lot Grading
  • Drafting of plans and profiles
  • Assist with project management
Anders Friesen C.E.T. in Training:
  • Surveying
  • Drafting and Mapping
  • Process Data

Summer Students - Assist with surveying, drafting, traffic counts, and aggregate testing

What is surveying?

'Land surveying' has been defined as the art and science of determining the position of natural and artificial features on, above or below the earth's surface; and representing this information on paper plans, as figures in report tables or on computer based maps. Today, the definition of surveying is changing, to reflect the applications of surveying techniques and the impact that the introduction of computer technology has had on the more traditional aspects of surveying. A 'surveyor' is not just 'somebody who stands next to the road looking through that telescope thingy and waves their arms about'.

Surveying science has a very long and distinguished history. Today 'surveyors' use Global Positioning System (G.P.S.) survey equipment, which use satellites to image the earth's environment, for navigation and precise position fixing, use computer visualization techniques for mapping, micro-computer controlled equipment for measuring the earth's surface and information systems to present and analyze data about land and land usage. But, the underlying core of knowledge for all of this sophistication is the mathematics of geometry.

Recent Technologies Implemented

In the summer of 2003, the Public Works Department entered the ‘new age’ of surveying with the purchase of Global Position System (G.P.S.) survey equipment (see definition on Surveying for explanation on how G.P.S. functions). This equipment has centimeter (<1”) accuracy. It has been an invaluable tool, allowing surveys to be completed in less time. This provides additional time for staff to conduct additional surveys, more time to draft surveys, and to setup and oversee drainage construction projects. The Engineering Department also uses Total Station (electronic survey equipment) for smaller scale surveys.

This department continues to work on implementing a Geographical Information System (G.I.S.). The goal of the G.I.S. is to benefit all Departments within the R.M. of Springfield by providing a means to share data and a method of visualizing geographic related problems and their solutions. The R.M. of Springfield provides a wide variety of services related to the provision of basic services (sewer, water, waste disposal, streets, etc.), safety (fire, crime, health), recreation (parks), and so on. In support of these services a municipality collects taxes, maintains facilities, processes permits, performs inspections, etc., and must maintain a large variety of records. The vast majority of these services and administrative functions relate to a specific location. Past studies have shown that the great majority of all municipal information handling is land related.

This variety of services and activities can be broken down and categorized into a number of broad areas, not necessarily totally exclusive of each other. These include:
  • Emergency Planning and Response
  • Land Records/Property Management
  • Permits and Inspections
  • Planning
  • Transportation Planning and Research
  • Utilities and Facilities Management
  • Mapping and Drafting
In the end, better information leads to better decisions, and subsequently, better customer service.