The $1.8-million Edgewater Water Project is well underway. Earlier this spring, the Pressure Reducing Valve (PRV) Station on Columbia Road was completed. This Station manages water pressure within the Edgewater Water System and ensures consistent pressures for the community.
There are two other key phases of the project yet to be completed: the construction and installation of an Ultra-Violet (UV) disinfection system and some upgrades on the water distribution system.
This summer, construction will begin on a new 30-foot by 30-foot building at the reservoir site. This new building will house the UV disinfection system, which will work in addition to chlorine in the Edgewater Water System. With the Permit to Construct from Interior Health now in hand, construction will begin shortly and should be complete by the end of October.
The final phase of the project deals with upgrades to the distribution system. The distribution system includes the water mains that bring the water from the reservoir into the community. We have installed new valves in the distribution system that will allow our operators to isolate sections of the community. This is helpful in minimizing the number of homes impacted if we need to shut off water to a portion of the community for repairs. It is also a critical tool in helping us find and identify sections of the distribution system that may have leaks. To put this in perspective, once the new isolation valves were installed, our operators conducted a night-flow anaylsis (which is a method used to evaluate water loss during non-peak hours). This night-flow analysis indicated significant loss of water in the system and we were eventually able to find and repair a major leak in the distribution system that we believe accounts for over 60 per cent of the water loss in the community.
We will continue with more detailed leak detection analysis on the Edgewater Water System over the next few months. This work will help us identify leaks and establish priority areas for new pipes and mains with the remaining funding for the distribution system upgrades planned as the last phase of the Water Upgrade Project. These final upgrades to the distribution system will most likely be completed sometime in 2015.
The grant funding for the Edgewater Water Upgrade comes from the British Columbia Community Water Improvement Program and will not only bring the water system up to Interior Health’s new drinking water standards, but will also reduce the water loss in the community.
I would like to commend Edgewater residents for their understanding and respect for the ongoing water conservation program in the community.
Gerry Wilkie is the Regional District of East Kootenay director for Area G, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .