The District of Elkford holds council meetings in the District Office next to the Community Conference Centre. File photo. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)

The District of Elkford holds council meetings in the District Office next to the Community Conference Centre. File photo. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)

Elkford council supports project to improve water quality at Industrial Park

Council voted in favour of applying for a funding grant and supporting the project on Jan. 10

The District of Elkford council voted in favour of applying for a grant for funding a project to improve water quality at the industrial park during a Jan. 10 council meeting.

The project would see a connection established between the industrial park water system and the main district system, which “would have the benefit of improving the water quality of the system as well as having some benefit of improving fire flow and providing water supply to land between the south end of the District and the Industrial Park,” reads a council report prepared by Jesse Huisman, director of engineering and public works.

The total project cost is stated as $4,484,920, and the majority of it would be covered by the federal government and province of B.C. via a grant. The District of Elkford would contribute $1,196,128.

The approved resolution was to have district staff submit a grant funding application for the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program — Environmental Quality, and for the district to support the project and commit to its share of the cost, “as identified for construction in year 2024 of the 2021 – 2025 Financial Plan Bylaw No. 843, 2021, as well as cost overruns.”

District staff worked in 2021 with engineering consultant McElhanney on a water system analysis “to ensure that there are no deficiencies in water quality or quantity throughout both the Main District system and the industrial park system.”

A water model was developed by McElhanney in 2017 to analyse pressure management within the system, but did not look at aspects like fire flow or water quality, nor did it look at industrial park, the council report reads.

“While the report is still underway, and expected to be completed in early 2022, the initial finding of the analysis is the need to upgrade the water supply to the industrial park water system to ensure clean drinking water quality particularly in the presence of Iron and Manganese.”

The industrial park water has iron and manganese levels below both the federal and provincial maximum allowable concentrations (MAC), but is above the aesthetic objective (AO). All water quality samples within the main district system are below MAC and AO requirements, according to the report.

The replacement of the Balmer wood stave reservoir was also previously identified by the district as it was “nearing its end of life.”

“This connections would also take into account the storage capacity of the reservoir in the industrial park should it be required for emergencies in town, and could reduce the potential to need to replace the wood stave reservoir depending on whether there are future developments in the District, either in town or in the industrial park.”

The next step is to submit the application for grant funding for the project, which the district calls the Elkford Industrial Park Water Connection Project, through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Project — Environmental Quality.

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