No more boil water advisories for Crofton water users.
Should there be a rupture or failure of some sort to the main Catalyst mill water source that serves the community, the new Crofton Alternate Water Supply that taps into the South End water system will spring into action.
Previously, problems with the Catalyst water source – that’s only happened a couple of times in the last three years – would result in the Crofton Lake reservoir being utilized as a back-up and thus the boil water advisories would go into effect.
The completion of the Crofton Alternate Water Supply Project was celebrated Tuesday with a ceremony at the Maple Mountain parking lot. The $3.12 million dollar project is significant for North Cowichan, Mayor Al Siebring said, because it was jointly funded by the Federal Government, the Province of British Columbia, and the Municipality through the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund.
Ottawa contributed half the total with $1.56 million, the Province kicked in $1.03 million and the Municipality’s share was $528,230 funded through the Crofton water reserve rather than general taxes.
“This project not only provides Crofton with a superior back-up water source, it also provides fire protection for the area along Osborne Bay Road, which didn’t previously have fire hydrants,” added Siebring. “This is so important for homeowners along this stretch as our summers are getting hotter and drier and the risk of forest fires is an increased reality.”
The opening was a bit later than hoped, but “the project was completely within budget,” Siebring said.
Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA Doug Routley attended on behalf of Selina Robinson, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, to celebrate the important milestone.
“Our government is committed to making investments that improve the services people rely on every day,” said Routley. “Part of that is making sure communities like ours are able to develop and maintain important infrastructure projects, especially systems that deliver clean, healthy and efficient water.”
With the project completed, everyone can take comfort in knowing their water is safe, he added.
“And that the system can be relied on for many years to come,” said Routley. “I know this hasn’t always been the case here in Crofton.”
Siebring noted the project was much more involved than laying some pipe in the ground. It consists of 3.2 kilometres of 300 millimetre watermain, 14 new fire hydrants and a new water booster pump station.
“These elements together now provide the community of Crofton with a superior alternative water supply, as well as fire protection along Osborne Bay Road,” he indicated.
North Cowichan’s Official Community Plan clearly stated the Municipality was committed to finding a high-quality, long-term water supply for Crofton. “I am pleased to be here today to announce that this project directly delivers on that commitment,” noted Siebring.
“This project could potentially be the first step in a long-term plan to enable Crofton’s water to be supplied from the South End system at some point in the future if – for whatever reason – we need to transition away from water supplied by the mill. That kind of backup wasn’t possible before. The only option we had was Crofton Lake with its attendant water quality issues and boil water advisories.”
Another significant benefit from the project is homes along Escarpment Way, other nearby streets, and the nearby Municipal Forest Reserve, now have access to nearby water for firefighting through those new fire hydrants.
“Given what happened last summer, we all know how critically important this is for residents in this area, and I’m very happy this is now available,” said Siebring.
Crofton Lake will also realize some important benefits resulting from the project.
The area around the Lake can be refocused as a natural recreation area, which is a goal in the Parks and Trails Master Plan, Siebring indicated. “We will also have more flexibility in the discharge of water into Richards Creek to support downstream salmon habitat.”
The Crofton alternate water system will be operational occasionally for some residents of Crofton to maintain its functionality.