August 20, 2016
Many of us on the west coastal areas of BC are surrounded by water and one way or another it always seems to be on our minds. It maintains our lives and we are very aware of how precious it is to us:
Gulf Islands Driftwood – Pender Edition
Wednesday, April 19, 2000
Magic Lake water on agenda
by Tanya Lester
There could be a strange sense of deja-vu when residents vote in a referendum in 2000 or 2001 on repairs of the 30-year-old Magic Lake water system which Bruce Copeland describes as “sad” and “leaking like a sieve.”
Copeland, who chairs the Capital Regional District (CRD) Magic Lake Water and Sewer Subcommittee, explained the system used by 60 percent of Pender residents, is losing 65 per cent of the water it produces.
The snag is that Magic Lake dwellers have been down the referendum path before. In 1998, 60 percent of them voted against a per-property $200 tax raise required to do repairs to the water and sewer system.
Copeland said the waste of water is costing money and in a year with not much winter rain, water could actually be in danger of running out during the busy summer season.t
He pointed out that, in the meantime, CRD money-lending interest rates are rising while the inevitable repairs are delayed.
The one-time tax hike to replace 45 per cent of the water mains and additional hydrants for more effective fire-fighting should be about $100, to make up the $2.5 to $2.7 million needed for repairs, if residents vote “yes” this time around, said Copeland. This figure is lower than what was proposed in the last referendum because a CRD loan borrowed in 1984 has now been paid off.
Copeland said Magic Lake residents also voted against sewer repairs in 1998.
The repairs went ahead, however, as the Capital Health Region chief medical officer ordered the sewer system fixed to avoid health problems.
Copeland said that during heavy rain storms, the sewer plant was flushing raw sewage into the ocean.
The work on the sewer system has now been completed, with a new licence in the offing, said Copeland. The repairs included replacing one tank with three and adding computer controls, as well as two clarifiers which means a safe volume level can be monitored.
Also repaired was the Buck Lake Water Plant, with changes made in the disinfection method. Canhloramination, a combination of chlorine and ammonia, has now replaced chlorine use as an effective way to kill trihaloethane, a carcinogen found in algae.
The chloramination also lasts 100 times longer in cul-de-sac water lines, which are prevalents in the Magic Lake system, said Copeland. It is more effective than chlorine when water sits in lines for an extended period, which is the case with homes of many part-time Pender residents.
Copeland said the repairs were done almost on time and under-budget at just over $3 million. To pay for these changes, the $250,000 emergency reserve fund was used and each taxpayer pain a one-time extra $86 last year.
With these repairs out of the way, the subcommittee will now focus its attention on when to hold the next water referendum at its next monthly meeting.
Copeland said that to hold the referendum in North Pender Island Fire Protection Society referendum on a new fire hall would mean an expenditure of about $13,000, which each would cost $10,000 if held separately.
The fire protection society currently plans to hold its referendum later this summer.
…The subcommittee usually meets in Victoria, to save the extra expense of CRD staff travelling to the Penders, with two monthly meetings and its annual general meeting held on the Penders.
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