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SCRD maintains June dates for more Chapman water supply

As the middle month of 2023 begins, the Sunshine Coast Regional District has not finalized any additional water supply for its Chapman system.
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Updated: May 31, 10:30am

As mid-2023 begins, the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) has not finalized any additional water supply for its Chapman system.  

Access to water from the Church Road/Elphinstone well field remains contingent on the issuance of the final water licence by the province and completion of work at the site.

Church Road well status

Coast Reporter was advised by a Church Road well site project contractor that final system testing began on May 30. According to SCRD communications manager Aidan Buckley, this is “a required 80-hour automatic run test on the pumps and the new water treatment plant." 

On May 31, he confirmed by email that "Once this (run test) is completed there is no further work that has to be done to bring the water treatment plant into operation".

When asked for comment on unconfirmed reports about delays in work at the site, Buckley stated in an email that, “this project is on a revised schedule due to availability of important infrastructure for the water treatment plant. It is anticipated that the project will be completed in June.”

In a May 29 email Buckley stated, “The SCRD is confident that the final water license will be granted and the well will be placed into operation in the coming weeks." He confirmed that flow monitoring and a fish habitat study for Soames Creek, which were requested by the province to provide the SCRD permission to access water from the site, were complete and would be forwarded by June 1. He indicated there were “no surprises” in the data collected that would put final licence issuance into question.

Agreement on access to Gibsons water pending

On May 25, Gibsons Mayor Silas White said no agreement had been reached to allow the regional district access to town water when Stage 2 water restrictions are introduced.  He and regional board chairperson Leonard Lee commented at the end of that day’s SCRD board meeting that the two parties are continuing to meet to discuss putting such an agreement in place. In both 2021 and 2022, the town provided water to the SCRD as Stage 4 restrictions were declared.

Updates at June committee meeting

Updates on those two projects are anticipated to be part of the next staff “water update,” which Buckely indicated will be presented at the June 22 regular committee of the whole meeting. The first such update in 2023, delivered on May 11, also provided details on other SCRD efforts to enhance water supplies this year. Included were details on requests by the regional government to reduce environmental flow needs on Chapman Creek and to keep the siphons located at Chapman and Edwards Lake available for use. Also being planned for is installation of temporary on-site water treatment at Gray Creek.