New Water Treatment Plant
Please click drip to see more about the Englishman River Water Service and the
new proposed drinking water intake and treatment plant.
Water storage and river flows
October 2017 update on the Arrowsmith Dam water capacity and the Englishman River flows. Click to open 16 page graphic PDF
The Big Picture Regarding This Project
An Objective Opinion by Trevor Wicks
Two decades ago it was obvious that Parksville and the Oceanside area needed a more dependable and sustainable water supply system. As populations increased the water demands grew, groundwater and most surface water flows declined dramatically especially during the dry summer months.
An added potential demand for water, was a very large projected expansion of the population in Nanoose, in the Fairwinds development. That area is already at a water supply limit, and receiving water from the Parksville system.
How do you supply water to a future development from an already stressed system? In secret meetings the powers to be, decide to create two entities, firstly the Arrowsmith Water Service (AWS) would build a dam on Arrowsmith Lake. Storing clean water at high elevation, that makes sense. Releasing the water from the lake into a river, which combines with water from an unprotected 300 square kilometer watershed; now that doesn’t make sense.
Here is where the plot thickens, Nanoose needs water badly. In order to get the permit to subdivide and develop they must have water first. Opps. Englishman River Water Service (ERWS) appears from behind closed doors. Well ! (excuse the pun) we should be able to raise over 50 million dollars, if we get money from the entire area.
Taking water from the Englishman River, building an oversized water treatment plant and a scheme to get a pipe-line built to carry the water in Nanoose, (ASR). That should work providing the people who pay for it don’t catch on, that the big development will get the greatest benefit.
ASR stands for Aquifer Storage and Recovery, that is short for, find a location next to the new development, to call your aquifer, build an extensive system with pumps and pipelines to carry the water to the, Uh! Hum! aquifer. Now if the storage and recovery doesn’t work we can always use the water for the new development.
Experts have been contracted from as far as Florida at great expense, to justify this major project. Before any actual work is done to provide water to the community, well over 6 million dollars will have been spent on planning and consultation.
The irony is that the Arrowsmith - Oceanside area should be the envy of the world and a model for efficient and sustainable water at very low cost. (click to link)
Throwing more money into a sinkhole does not make sense. It is obvious that large amounts of money can create a situation of winners and losers, mostly losers. The time and money already spent should have produced a water supply system that would have been operational, and helped to prevent the losses and hardship caused by the long watering restriction this summer.
The capital costs of building the infrastructure will only be the tip of the iceberg. The operational costs and the risks in emergencies will come to light in due course.
Questions that should be asked.
Membrane filtration can require a significant amount of backwash water every 15 - 60 minutes to back flush the contaminant sludge off the filters. Where will the backwash water be pumped and will that dirty water have to be treated?
Most filter systems require regular chemical cleaning, to remove fouling agents from the membranes. The chemicals that can be used include Hydrochloric or Citric acid, Caustic, Sodium Hypochlorite, Chlorine gas or Hydrogen Peroxide. Will any of these chemicals be used in the proposed treatment plant and how will these chemicals be disposed of?
The maximum demand for water is usually during July, August, and September. Turbidity in the Englishman River at this time prevents the use of this surface water. How many days supply is currently stored in the Parksville system and does any of the stored water go to Nanoose when river water is not available?
A gauge measures river flows on the Englishman River upstream of the current water intake. In the past few years, the flow in the river has not always met the minimum of 1.6 cubic meters per second required by DFO. How will the flow of the river be affected when the intake is moved upstream of the gauge, particularly during the summer salmon spawning season?
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Choose Wick’s water plan PQB news Sept 15th 2015
All residents should vote no until council realizes they are trying to force a costly, unsustainable system down our throats. I do not understand why they would not adopt Trevor Wick’s plan, which is far superior and at one quarter the price and, as an added benefit, Martindale Road and the trailer park wouldn’t be flooded every spring.
They have already wasted more than $5 million on a drawing and plan that is of no value and could be produced on a CAD program that could be had for a few hundred dollars.
Parksville councils have been messing with the Englishman River Water Service for more than 20 years that I know about and have failed to come up with a proper design and sustainable supply.
If they had, we wouldn’t be at level four watering restrictions today, with our lawns and gardens all dried out and council members sitting in their offices trying to plan what fines to dole out to violators.
Jim Enright Parksville