Water treatment strategy prepared for Williams Lake

Water treatment strategy prepared for Williams Lake

Authors of the report will be at a public open house March 28 at city hall

Water conservation will be key to the future of Williams Lake’s aquifer, suggests a new water management strategy report presented to the city council and staff this week.

“Williams Lake can continue to draw from its aquifer to meet demands for the next 20 years or more assuming conservation occurs,” said Rick Collins, a civil engineer with Urban Systems, during the committee of the whole meeting, Tuesday, Feb. 19.

Presently water demands are the highest in the month of August when approximately 16,000 cubic metres a day is flowing from city wells at Scout Island, Collins explained, noting the usage should be no more than 13,000 cubic metres a day so the aquifer can be recharged.

“In climates where you have four seasons it’s the norm to see more water use in the summer months,” Collins said.

Applauding the City for pursuing grants to put in universal water metering, Collins said if meters are implemented then the City should begin doing mock billing for at least a year so residents can see how much their water consumption will cost once the billing is based on consumption.

Read more: Williams Lake budgets for universal water metering and water treatment

“It is a safe thing to do because it allows you to get the kinks out,” he said. “It works out well because once you get that volumetric billing and you will see some savings of water. There’s communities that received 15 per cent water savings, just by doing it through volumetric billing and education. Conserving water is a better return of investment — the customers pay less money and it’s better for everybody.”

Coun. Craig Smith said council has already discussed doing mock billing for 24 months.

Coun. Scott Nelson said the city will not be able to afford the $5 million cost of metering and will need to secure a grant, but also understands that having water metering in place will make the city eligible for further grants to development a water treatment plant, which is expected to be mandatory in the future by Health Canada.

Joe Engelberts, the city’s manager of utilities and fleet, said all industry is monitored for volumetric use of the city’s water by a metre but is charged a flat fee.

Pat Mahood, manager of water and sewer, said in the summer the city will see its base amount four or five times up when there is heavy irrigation.

“Some of our users, such as Atlantic Power may be shut down so that puts them into the shoulder season,” Mahood said. “My understanding it that some of the mills may use more in the winter time to thaw logs for their process. There are ebbs and flows.”

Urban Systems examined the notion of recycling water for industrial use and Collins said it works out to be more economical to keep industry on the existing water system as long as the aquifer can handle it.

“It’s a lot of infrastructure you would have to put in,” he said. “Atlantic Power actually takes your drinking water and they treat it to a higher quality to make it work with their processes. If you give them grey water then you are going to increase their costs as well because they will have to treat it even more.”

The report also endorsed drawing from the lake as the most viable secondary supply option to address longer-term water demands and noted the aquifer’s water quality is influenced by the lake’s water quality.

“You need to promote watershed stewardship and update your bylaws

Read more: Stewardship workshop attracts crowd

Collins said the City should expect to spend $18.5 million between 2019 and 2026 to replace one of the wells that failed four years ago at Scout Island, put in water meters, design a treatment plant and build a treatment plan, and continue key water main work.

“It will be a bit of a goal for the City but we want to time it with when there will be grants and show this is our schedule and we can achieve it except that we cannot afford it,” Collins said.

An open house will be held Thursday, March 28 at city hall to share the report with the public.



news@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Water treatment strategy prepared for Williams Lake

Water treatment strategy prepared for Williams Lake

Just Posted

School District 27 (SD27) issued notice Thursday, Feb. 25 of a COVID-19 exposure at Mountview Elementary School. (Angie Mindus photo)
School district reports positive COVID-19 case in Williams Lake elementary school

A letter went home to families of Mountview Elementary School

The City of Williams Lake is asking for public feedback on whether it should explore the opportunity to host a Greater Metro Hockey League team in Williams Lake. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
City of Williams Lake seeks feedback on hosting junior hockey league team

A league expansion application in Quesnel is also pending

A rainbow shining on Kelowna General Hospital on May 12, 2020 International Nurses Day. (Steve Wensley - Prime Light Media)
New COVID cases trending down in Interior Health

24 new cases reported Thursday, Feb. 25, death at Kelowna General Hospital

LADDER USED IN FIRE FIGHT: While smoke billows out of the second floor of the Maple Leaf Hotel, members of the Williams Lake Volunteer Fire Department fight to contain the blaze. The department was called out Tuesday morning to battle the blaze that wreaked havoc on the interior of the 57-year-old hotel. One man, Harold Hurst of Riske Creek, died in the fire. (Ernest Engemoen photo - Williams Lake Tribune, April 12, 1977)
FROM OUR ARCHIVES: Ladder used in fire fight

The department was called out Tuesday morning to battle the blaze

Provincial funding in the amount of $300,000 has been announced for the Cariboo Regional District’s plans to improve the Anahim Lake Airport runway. (CRD photo)
$300,000 provincial funding to fuel Anahim Lake Airport runway upgrade

The recovery grant is one of 38 announced to support jobs in rural communities

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

The missing camper heard a GSAR helicopter, and ran from his tree well waving his arms. File photo
Man trapped on Manning mountain did nearly everything right to survive: SAR

The winter experienced camper was overwhelmed by snow conditions

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Ashley Paxman, 29, is in the ICU after being struck by a vehicle along Highway 97 Feb. 18, 2021. She remains in critical condition. (GoFundMe)
Okanagan woman in ICU with broken bones in face after being struck by car

She remains in serious condition following Feb. 18 incident

Vancouver International Women in Film Festival kicks off March 5.
Women in Film Festival features two B.C. filmmakers

The 16th annual festival kicks off March 5, 2021

Most Read