Water Projects Updates – June
Stage 1 Water Conservation Regulations were implemented for SCRD water users on the Chapman, Egmont, Cove Cay, North Pender Harbour, Langdale, Soames Point, Granthams Landing and Eastbourne water systems, and Stage 2 in the South Pender Harbour water system. The SCRD is working to retain as much water as possible in our main water sources, Chapman and Edwards Lakes for community use through late summer and early fall.
The SCRD is preparing for extended drought, similar to the past two years. This means little to no rainfall for 100+ days, which could result in the SCRD calling Stage 4 Water Conservation Regulations (complete ban on outdoor water use).
The SCRD implements water conservation regulations to ensure that water is available for community use, health purposes and fire suppression through the summer and into the fall. As we saw in 2022, water conservation regulations helped extend water supply into December.
An update on water projects can be found here:
Church Road Well Field Project
Church Road Well Field Project will supply up to 4.6 million litres of water per day to the Chapman Water System. The SCRD has a water licence and has completed infrastructure. Now the Province is reviewing necessary data and will notify SCRD imminently about when the new water source can be operated, formally called the “leave to commence” diversion and use of water under the BC Water Sustainability Act.
Gray Creek is used as a water source throughout the summer months and provides about one million litres of water per day to the Chapman Water System. However, when rainfall occurs, the SCRD cannot use this source due to “turbidity.” Rainfall causes particles on the creek bed to mix with the water making it unsafe to drink without additional filtration.
The SCRD is in the second year of a creek flow monitoring project that is required before any potential treatment plant upgrades that would make Gray Creek a more reliable water source throughout the year. A flow sensor has been installed and real time creek flow data is being received for creek flow monitoring purposes.
Town of Gibsons Water Supply
The SCRD and the Town of Gibsons are jointly developing an agreement that could allow for the Town of Gibsons to supply water to the Chapman Water System earlier than past summers.
Reduction of Environment Flow Needs
The SCRD is required to release a significant amount of water from Chapman Lake for Environmental Flow Needs (EFN). This water ensures that fish habitat and aquatic ecosystems along Chapman Creek are maintained and adequate flows are available to allow fish passage into Chapman Creek during salmon spawning intervals. The SCRD has developed recommendations on the reduction of EFN. SCRD staff are working closely with Provincial staff to reach a decision regarding potential EFN reduction.
The current EFN is 200 litres per second. The SCRD has requested a reduction to 160 litres per second for the duration of July 1, 2023 to August 31, 2023. Any reduction in EFN would be supported by a robust monitoring program to ensure salmon spawning is not disrupted and flows will be increased if returning salmon are observed early in the season. This monitoring program will also allow the SCRD to better understand fish behavioral patterns and spawning locations.
Siphons at Chapman Lake and Edwards Lake
Siphons at Chapman and Edwards Lakes are still in place to ensure that water can be accessed from the lakes when the channels that bring water from these lakes run dry. The siphons can be operated on an emergency basis during Stage 4 Water Conservation Regulations only.
Water Meter Project
The contract to install water meters in the Sechelt area has been awarded with work due to begin later this year. You can read more about the water meter project and the six-million-dollar grant awarded for the project here.
Raw Water Reservoir
Geotechnical drilling has been completed at a potential reservoir location near the Sechelt Airport. The SCRD’s consultant is finalizing analysis to determine the maximum and most economical footprint for a reservoir at this location. Further information on this project can be found at https://letstalk.scrd.ca/reservoir.
Langdale Well Field
Results from this well field have appeared favourable so far. Through the summer, staff will finalize a Board report outlining potential impacts of the well field to Langdale Creek. An initial groundwater licence application will be submitted to the Province this summer. A request for proposal (RFP) will be issued this summer for consultant services to complete the final design, permitting, and preparation of the new well field drawings and conveyance system.