Windermere water upgrade making progress

The Regional District of East Kootenay is going over the ins and outs of providing potable water in Windermere.


The Regional District of East Kootenay is going over the ins and outs of providing potable water in Windermere.

The Windermere Water System Utility Advisory Commission held a meeting at the Windermere Community Hall on Tuesday, October 28th.

Windermere’s water has been under boil advisory for eight years, and is aiming to meet new water quality standards the province is implementing in 2015.

First on the agenda, the commission analyzed the drilling of a well.

“The RDEK will proceed with drilling a test well in the community in the next few weeks,” said Area F Director Wendy Booth in an email to The Echo. “While uncertainty exists whether or not it will be successful, the group felt it was worth the effort.”

The groundwater analysis and test well program was approved by the board last May.

Also, it was recommended by the Water Utilities Commission that the RDEK proceeds with building a new reservoir. The board will decide to support it or not at this week’s RDEK board of directors meeting.

“Regardless of the direction that the community proceeds to get properly treated water, a new reservoir (in addition to the existing one) is required.”

“This is in addition to the existing reservoir,” said Booth in an email. “It’s required to meet fire flows and increased demand.  Regardless of the direction that community chooses to go with treated water, a reservoir is required.”

The project will cost around $2.3 million and a grant from the Building Canada Fund is getting close to expiration.

“The Building Canada Fund is $2.1 million, and the balance is proposed to come from Community Works Funds and Reserve Funds (pending RDEK votes in favour).”

Booth said the RDEK will have to apply for scope change before using the funds for that purpose.

To figure out the most palatable way to pay for the upgrade, the RDEK will be experimenting with the costs.

“Mock rates will be in effect for one year, before they come into effect,” she said. “The purpose is to give the users the opportunity to see how much they are paying on the flat rate, compared to what they would pay with a metered rate.”



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