Balfour Water System
Annual Drinking Water Information
Size and number of connections
The system currently services the equivalent of 326 single-family dwelling connections.
The system is located in the community of Balfour, within RDCK Electoral Area E. Balfour is on the north shore of the west arm of Kootenay Lake. The Kootenay Lake ferry landing is located within this water system.
The Balfour water system derives source water from Kootenay Lake. As a result of the many varied uses of Kootenay Lake, this source is classified as higher-risk than some groundwater sources.
The system was constructed in 1947 under the ownership of the Balfour Irrigation District.
As a condition of the Balfour system becoming a RDCK service, a water treatment plant was installed in January, 2011. The plant allows for a multi-barrier approach to treatment through a combination of filtration, UV disinfection, and chlorine residual disinfection. The upgrade also included the installation of a SCADA system, which allows for remote system monitoring.
The system includes a 450,000 litre reservoir. Installation of a second reservoir, located above the portion of the community at higher elevation, is planned for the future.
The distribution system is comprised of PVC, galvanized steel, and asbestos-concrete pipe. Various minor distribution upgrades are anticipated.
This system does not support fire-fighting. At present, the reservoir capacity is insufficient to meet the increased water demands that would be associated with fire suppression. However, the Balfour Water System was reviewed by the Fire Underwriters Survey in 2014 and is now recognized as having a dwelling protection grade based on available flows from one hydrant. You can get additional information from your insurance provider.
The Balfour population is expected to grow in future years. Historic reports estimated that there will be demand for 200 new connections within 20 years. A 2009 assessment of the system indicated that the current distribution network could be inadequate to serve the water demands of these additional connections. This finding, in addition to the challenges posed by aging system infrastructure, will require full replacement of the distribution system within several decades.
Despite the completion of a new treatment plant in 2011, the water system continues to face capacity, aging infrastructure, reliability and financial challenges.
Plans for future upgrades
The Regional District was successful in obtaining a Clean Water & Wastewater Fund (CWWF) grant of over $2.8 million in 2016 for capital upgrades including: a new water storage reservoir, universal metering implementation, standby power, and distribution capacity and reliability upgrades.
The capital upgrades will result in:
- Improved system reliability and fire protection (with replacement of structurally unsound reservoir and addition of standby power).
- Improved demand side management (with metering) will lessen the need to issue Stage 3 water conservation measures & reduced water consumption can extend the life of water system infrastructure, thereby reducing costs to the users.
Universal Metering Assessment and Implementation Study was undertaken in 2014 to determine if Universal Metering could help achieve the goal of reducing water consumption. Some of the advantages that were outlined during this study include:
- improved water loss management
- increased water conservation
- reduced capital infrastructure
- equitable water rates
- reduced consumption
As of fall 2017, the Regional District is in the beginning stages of implementing universal metering in Balfour. The Regional District's consultant, Diameter Services Inc. is visiting the Balfour community on October 18 and 19th to determine the requirements for metering installations. The Regional District will be able to communicate more information about the universal metering project in January/February of 2018. Installations are tentatively scheduled to occur in spring 2018. For more information, please visit the Water Meters webpage.
Water Quality Monitoring
This system was converted to a RDCK service in January, 2011. It was historically owned and operated by the Balfour Improvement District.
The content on this page was last updated September 4 2018 at 11:36 AM