Skip to content

Updated: Granthams’ water plant issues continue for neighbours

A May 27 announcement that a temporary chemical storage unit will be added at the Sunshine Coast Regional District’s water facility at Elphinstone Avenue and Fisher Road prompted a half dozen residents to send in lists of concerns.
A view of the Granthams water treatment plant, and adjacent residential development.

Updated June 5, 11:50 a.m.

A May 27 announcement that a temporary chemical storage unit will be added at the Sunshine Coast Regional District’s (SCRD) water facility at Elphinstone Avenue and Fisher Road prompted a flurry of concerns from neighbours. 

As of June 5, SCRD communications manager Aidan Buckley told Coast Reporter by email that the unit had not yet been sent to the site. While he did not indicate when that would happen, he emphasized that the placement will be temporary and that "the container will be located on site for the minimum duration needed" and that timing details would be made public via a press release and a posting on 

Over the previous week, SCRD Director for Area F (Howe Sound), Kate Stamford, sought to calm public frustrations and help ensure the proper authorities respond to her constituents’ questions.

Beefs about that project and more

In a May 30 email to those involved in the discussions, including Coast Reporter, Stamford circulated a tally of the concerns that have been raised to her as the local elected official for the area since late 2022.

While several concerns are directly related to the Church Road well and the supporting Grantham plant development, some pre-date that work and involve other decision-makers. Items she listed included well field project issues, concerns about the safety of storing a volume of the chemical compound on site, the location and appearance of the 6’ by 20’ storage unit, intrusive lighting from the plant facility and the sorry post-well development condition of a local park space.

Subjects of neighbourhood irritation listed also touched on a previous SCRD project, the upgrade of the Grantham Landing Community Hall, located in the same vicinity. Stamford wrote that she was aware that some area residents view that facility's parking as inadequate and not at the level that was promised by their local government. Points of concern listed in the director’s email also touched on road design and maintenance issues that would be under the authority of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and its contractors.

Stamford wrote “no miracles here - some of this is obviously complex, multi-jurisdictional and will not have an immediate fix." She requested those with concerns scan the items she had listed and respond to her with ones that she may have missed or had not been advised. She added that she is meeting with senior SCRD staff regarding the matters. 

“I understand you are frustrated and yet I also understand that many problems are inter-related and are not necessarily easy to resolve but by looking at it as a neighbourhood rather than an individual function or responsibility there may be a better way to support resolutions," she wrote.

The frustrations noted by Stamford are apparent in the multiple emails shared by area residents with Coast Reporter.  “I don’t believe any of these concerns have been addressed and I believe that’s just a shame because both the residents of Granthams Landing and the SCRD employees have the same goal to see this project done right," wrote one resident. 


In late March, the SCRD stated a storage unit for barrels of sodium hypochlorite solution (at a concentration it stated is “less potent to what is found in many laundry rooms”) at the plant site was scheduled. That material is needed for treatment of well water which is be used to enhance the regional Chapman Water System supplies.

That announcement raised neighbourhood concerns, which led to a quickly organized March 28 online community engagement session. At that event, regional staff agreed to delay the addition of the storage unit in order to address questions raised by locals and consider options regarding the fit of the storage unit within that residential area. According to regional district communications staff there were site visits and the “Let’s Talk” webpage related to the project was expanded with additional information.

Elphinstone Avenue homeowner Paul MacKeigan told Coast Reporter that he and his wife were the only area residents invited to an April 8 meeting at the plant site with SCRD staffers. He indicated commitments were made to look into specifics identified during those discussions.

“And we never heard from them ever,” MacKeigan stated via email. “On the one month anniversary of our meeting we sent individual Canada Post Registered Letters…reminding them of their promise to ”get back to us.

"It’s been almost a month and no reply or even confirmation of receipt of the Registered Mail."

In his email, Buckley confirmed, "MOTI permits are in place, there are no building permits required as it is not subject to BC Building Code. Due to the temporary nature of the installation, the unit will not require a foundation."

As for the siting of the unit on facility's parking lot, Buckley wrote that "the parking area was engineered for greater loading than the shipping container will place on it." He indicated the location is the most sheltered location possible from potential traffic accidents, is the safest from a spill containment standpoint being located on asphalt near the dechlorination manhole and provides for the least hazardous work procedure for SCRD staff, which in turn also represents the lowest risk of spills.