N. Cowichan eyes water systems amalgamation

The Municipality of North Cowichan is studying the possibility of merging its three water-service areas into one.

  • Mar. 11, 2016 3:00 p.m.

The Municipality of North Cowichan is studying the possibility of merging its three water-service areas into one.

The municipality has three separate water systems servicing three distinct areas — Chemainus, Crofton and the South End — covering more than 130 square kilometres.

Mark Ruttan, the municipality’s director of corporate services, said the infrastructure for all three systems is aging, with much of it needing to be upgraded or replaced in coming years.

He said that the three systems are supported by user-pay systems in each particular area, and not by general municipal taxes throughout the whole municipality.

Ruttan said the water systems in Chemainus and Crofton are smaller than the one in the South End, and have fewer users to pay for infrastructure repairs and upgrades.

“Recent work in the Chemainus water system cost about $1 million, and long-term borrowing was required because of the small number of users in that area,” he said.

“If we amalgamate all three water areas into one, it would be easier to fund these projects. The same applies to the sewer systems in all three areas.”