SCRD: Needed water infrastructure fixes accumulate

Urgent fixes to the North and South Pender Harbour water service were highlighted in the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) pre-budget talks last week.

The projects were introduced in advance of round one of budget talks, slated for January.

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Among the proposals is a $145,000 upgrade to the Garden Bay treatment facility because it does not meet drinking water regulation requirements “to have redundancy in major treatment steps,” according to the budget proposal. If included in the budget, the money would be used to purchase a second UV reactor. Without it, the SCRD is “at risk of not being able to provide adequately treated water when this UV-treatment system fails.”

Another fix required is a streaming current monitor for the South Pender Harbour water service, which is needed to “ensure compliance with water quality potability at all times.” It is currently “failing frequently and places the SCRD out of compliance during these events,” and needs to be replaced “urgently.” The cost of that replacement is $18,000 and would come from reserves.

The Chapman Water Treatment Plant also requires upgrades. Already approved is the $692,000 upgrade to the facility’s chlorination system, with completion slated for late 2019. On top of that, $120,000 has been earmarked for water quality instrumentation equipment. The current equipment is “at the end of its lifespan and increasingly prone to failing,” according to the proposal, and the upgrade is needed to ensure the SCRD remains “compliant with drinking water regulations.” Another $25,000, coming out of user fees, has been proposed for “preventative maintenance” of the treatment plant and building at Mason Road.

The SCRD is also undergoing a comprehensive review of its 18 wastewater treatment plants, some of which were discovered to face “critical issues” including failing to meet regulatory requirements.

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