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6th December 2020
Costs to truck in water shouldered by property owners in the service area

MICHAEL BRIONES Dec. 5, 2020 3:30 p.m. LOCAL NEWS

Drinking water will continue to be trucked in to Whiskey Creek residents if source water remains poor during rain events.

The Regional District of Nanaimo’s Whiskey Creek Waster Service Area services is unable to produce clean drinking water from the source at this time at Croker Creek. Close to 130 homes are impacted by this as Stage 4 watering restrictions continue to be in effect. Residents are asked conserve water.

In August, several rain events reduced the turbidity of the water to normal levels but according to RDN staff colour contamination continues to exist. It cannot be removed with simple filtration.

To determine what is causing the water quality to diminish, the RDN investigated upstream in Crocker Creek. The regional district has hired a consultant to assess the potential for impacts to the water supply relating to land use activities that include logging.

A new groundwater source for the area was approved by Island Health last September but the work to build a modernized water system was delayed due to financial constraints. And as backup plan, the RDN has now focused on investing the available funds to complete a temporary system using the new groundwater source as soon as possible. It will is expected to be completed in early 2021.

The RDN has also applied for a grant of $931,000 under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program – Rural and Northern Communities to pay to convert the temporary system into a permanent operation.

If the application is unsuccessful, ratepayers will be asked to fund the project. The RDN will borrow the funds on behalf of the property owners.

Since August, the RDN has spent $7,000 for trucked water and are forecasting $5,000 per month in trucked water costs through the winter if the water quality does not improve during rain events. The costs will be shouldered by property owners in the water service area, approximately $40 per month per property.