Complications change water plan

The drinking water project is now valued at $22.4 million, up from the original $16.6 million figure

The city has altered its plans for a new drinking water system which will mean relocating the city’s ultraviolet water treatment centre to John Hart Lake.

The treatment facility will join a new pump station that will be built at the lake.

Stephen Watson, spokesperson for BC Hydro, said plans changed after complications with the original plans arose.

“The opportunity to revisit our original agreement arose given the cost, complexities and interactions with the city waterworks project and the John Hart project along Surge Tower Road, and from that, better efficiencies in having one city domestic water building on BC Hydro property versus two at different locations,” Watson said.

Jason Hartley, the city’s capital works manager, said that moving the water treatment facility will eliminate shared use of Surge Tower Road – where the centre is currently located – during John Hart project construction and remove a major section of the water transmission line from the Elk Falls provincial park area.

The drinking water project is now valued at $22.4 million, up from the original $16.6 million figure, but is receiving $18.3 million from BC Hydro, which includes 100 per cent of the extra $5.8 million that it will cost to relocate the treatment facility and run the water transmission line down Highway 28 to Powerhouse Road.

The city is on the hook for the same amount as in the original plan, $4.15 million, which will be paid for through a combination of water capital and debt from borrowing.

The system is expected to go into operation in the fall of 2017, before BC Hydro cuts off the city’s water supply in January, 2018.

The utility is removing the three penstocks that currently deliver the city’s drinking water from John Hart Lake as part of its John Hart Generating Station replacement project.

The city’s drinking water project is being delivered in different phases.

Phase one is currently underway and involves installing a steel water pipe underground along Highway 28 as it goes up General Hill.

That work is scheduled to be complete by August while phase two, which involves a new intake and pump chamber, is slated to get underway in the spring of 2016.

The new water system will have a new intake and pump chamber at John Hart Lake which will connect to a new large diameter transmission pipe connecting the city’s Elk Falls Water Quality Centre to the water system source.