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SCRD moves toward water projects

SCRD moves toward water projects

On March 19, SCRD infrastructure services committee members supported issuing contracts to further plans for the Church Road well field and the Chapman Creek raw water reservoir. These recommendations are to be considered by the board on April 9.
The committee recommended contracting to develop cost estimates for the infrastructure needed to add the Church Road well field to the region’s water supply. This work is to be awarded to Associated Environmental Consultants (AEC) at a cost of $687,157. The contract will require drilling a second production well and completing studies to support an application to the province for a water licence. In addition, AEC is to design and prepare tender documents for the construction of a treatment plant, pump station, distribution and transmission systems for the field.
A complicating factor for this work has been planning for engaging with area residents about the project. Social distancing protocols related to COVID-19 led to the cancellation of a public meeting that had been planned for April.
Pending contract endorsement, staff anticipate AEC’s work will be completed in the fourth quarter of 2020. This work would be proceeding at the same time as the SCRD board prepares to consider taking on an $8 million loan to pay for the well field build-out. The board is set to consider an Alternative Approval Process to gain assent from its electors for that borrowing in the coming months.
If all required approvals are received and construction moves forward in a timely manner, staff stated water from the well field could be part of the regional supply in 2021.
The committee also recommended board endorsement of a contract for Phase 4 of the Chapman Creek raw water reservoir feasibility study. This would provide $240,000 to Integrated Sustainability Consultants to evaluate geotechnical details as well as provide a conceptual design for the proposed project. This work would refine the $53 million estimate for the proposed construction of the 1.2- million-cubic-metre reservoir that was provided to the board in November
2019.
Area E Director Donna McMahon was the sole committee vote opposed to further study of the proposed reservoir. She told the Local that she would prefer the board to focus on building the regional water supply by moving away from dependence on Chapman Creek and developing ground water aquifers. On her website, everythingelphinstone.ca, she states: “I am voting against a huge and unnecessary waste of tax dollars on a gargantuan pond that would float a fleet of ferries, but still leave us almost completely reliant on one small creek for our water
supply.”
Connie Jordison

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