July 06, 2015 - 11:30 AM
KAMLOOPS – Projects aimed at ensuring clean water for Kamloops and Black Pines residents are moving forward following a funding announcement today, July 6.
More than $3 million is being contributed from both federal and provincial governments for an emergency water intake project in Kamloops, and just under $450,000 from federal and provincial governments each for a water system intake project in Black Pines, north of Kamloops. The City of Kamloops and the Thompson-Nicola Regional District will each contribute the final third to their plans.
Kamloops’ emergency water intake project will build a secondary raw water intake in the North Thompson River to ensure an emergency supply of water and is intended as a back-up to protect residents from the effects of a hazardous material spill along the Trans-Canada Highway or from a failure at the Kamloops Centre for Water Quality.
Mayor Peter Milobar admitted infrastructure of this kind might seem 'boring' but says it is absolutely vital.
“It only takes an incident to happen before we ask ‘why didn’t we think of this’,” he says, adding interruptions to water or sewage are the biggest inconveniences for a city.
While an emergency of this nature hasn’t happened in Kamloops before, a 2007 study rated the risk of a failure as moderate to high at the River Street Pump station.
Residents of Black Pines will receive a new raw water intake for their current water system and accompanying treatment plant to ensure safe, clean water to drink.
According to Mel Rothenburger, the regional district director for the area that encompasses Black Pines, the current intake is in a poor spot that constantly fills with silt.
“(In rural communities) we do not take water for granted,” he says. “When we can do something to improve our water we’re pleased.”
Rothenburger says a petition or possibly a referendum will be used to decide the community’s support for funding the project. Milobar says Kamloops’ financial share of its project 'shouldn’t be a big change' in water rates, adding the city has built up some reserves.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015