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Ice arena water project’s next phases receive tentative support from Sechelt

With a $63,000 investment from the Growing Communities Fund, the SCRD plans a viability study for the Sunshine Coast Arena's potential new water source

Sechelt council members have endorsed sending a letter of support to the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD), voicing their support for future phases of the Sunshine Coast Arena (SCA) Water Well once the initial viability investigation has finished.

In February, the SCRD approved $63,000 for the SCA Water Well Investigation, funded by the Growing Communities Fund. It was also included in the decision to approach Sechelt about sharing the cost. 

The project involves determining the viability and feasibility of the well next to the SCA as a water source for ice operations.

During its March 27 committee of the whole, committee members voiced confusion over the request since the budget for the viability investigation is already allotted, and there were no dollar figure requests in the SCRD letter about cost sharing. 

Coun. Alton Toth introduced the topic and clarified that the $63,000 allocated by the SCRD from the Growing Communities Fund will cover the first phase of the project, determining the viability of the well and that the request to Sechelt is regarding subsequent years when the actual construction of the connecting system is established. 

Coun Darren Inkster pointed out that allowing the SCA to use the well for water would alleviate the need to use treated water from the Chapman Water System.

Clarifying their future support for the project once the initial viability study has been concluded, council moved to send the response of, “While we don't feel we can contribute at this time. We look forward to the possibility of contributing to the construction phase of the project,” with Coun. Dianne McLauchlan opposed.

The well is decommissioned, has no licence and its physical condition, production potential and water quality are unknown. 

To determine this, according to the letter, the SCRD will:

  • Assess the wellhead, sanitary surface seal and site constraints;
  • perform video inspection of the well to confirm depth and structural conditions of the well infrastructure;
  • conduct a review of nearby wells to establish a high-level insight into the overall productivity of the aquifer and wells in the vicinity;
  • conduct a constant rate pumping test to determine the potential well capacity and draw water for water quality analysis.

Jordan Copp is the Coast Reporter’s civic and Indigenous affairs reporter. This reporting beat is made possible by the Local Journalism Initiative.