Water System Upgrades & Metering Project
Despite the completion of a new treatment plant in 2011, the Balfour Water System continues to face capacity, aging infrastructure, reliability and financial challenges.
The RDCK was awarded a $2.8 million Clean Water & Wastewater Fund Grant (CWWF) to undertake capital upgrades in the Balfour Water System, contingent on the Regional District to provide the balance of the project costs of $583,323.00.
An Assent Voting Process (Referendum) was held in June 2017 to gain public approval for project borrowing. The results indicated that 87.9% of voters were in support of the borrowing, with 12.1% opposed.
Project work has commenced and under the granting agency requirements, all project components must be completed in their entirety by March 31, 2019.
Project Description and Timeline
The components of the Balfour Water Upgrades project are following including the budgeted costs:
|Reservoir Replacement||$1,011,000||Summer 2018 completion|
|Universal Metering||$ 475,000||Summer to Fall 2018|
Lake Pump Station Standby Power
Upper Zone Pump Station Relocation
|$ 199,000||Fall 2018 Completion|
Distribution System Upgrade
Looping and District Metering
Descriptions of the project components can be found HERE and a presentation on the project shared at the May 15, 2017 community meeting can be seen HERE. Detailed information on the Universal Metering component can be found HERE.
- 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 and the resulting reduced water consumption can extend the life of water system infrastructure, thereby reducing costs to the users
Project updates will be released on a regular basis. Please check back here to obtain current project status.
UPDATE - May 21, 2019
The new watermain on Busk Road has been commissioned, along with the placement of two new fire hydrants. While tying in all the services along Busk Road, an unexpected complication occurred - a badly corroded watermain was uncovered which services properties on Charles Street. This main will be replaced in the coming week with a new watermain. A temporary overland water connection was placed at Madelaine Road which will stay in place until the new Charles Street watermain has been commissioned. We thank the Busk Road area residents for your cooperation and patience during the watermain work. Please continue to slow down when driving in the area.
Three district meters have been installed in Balfour. The meters will help with determining water usage and for detecting leaks in the system. Final steps for the Balfour upgrade project include the completion of the booster station upgrade, including the installation of 2 pumps and a controls upgrade.
UPDATE - March 11, 2019:
The continuation of the watermain upgrade on Busk Road will commence this week with completion before the end of March. This work will require some water service interruptions for Balfour residents that use Busk Road to access their residence. These interruptions will be communicated to the affected residences in advance. Once this work is completed, it will mark the completion of the full scope of the Balfour Watermain Upgrade Project. For residents that travel on Busk Road; please expect some minor delays, drive slowly and increase the space between your vehicle and the work zone as much as possible.
UPDATE - Feburary 14, 2019:
The abandoned steel reservoir is scheduled to be removed on February 20th and will likely be completed on February 21st. Large equipment will be required for this and there is potential for some minor traffic disruptions on Holt Road as the equipment is delivered. Also, we request that the general public refrain from accessing and/or travelling through the site during this time.
This old reservoir was assessed by the Balfour/Harrop Fire Department for the potential of storing water for wildfire suppression. The fire department sees little value in this and understands, that during a wildfire, water will be available from the water system at sufficient flow rates to fill tenders to support their suppressions efforts. Also, as this reservoir is structurally unsound, it would have a limited life in this capacity and would need to be removed in the near future anyway. As grant monies are currently available for the Balfour water system the decision is to remove this now.
UPDATE - January 16, 2019:
The commissioning of the back up generators that was planned for January 15 and 16, 2019 has been delayed until January 22 and 23, 2019. A defective part on both of the generators has been discovered, replacement parts have been ordered and will be installed next week during the commissioning work. We apologize for this delay and any inconvenience this may have caused.
UPDATE - January 7, 2019:
The back-up generators for the both the Water Treatment Plant and the Lake pump station have been completed. The commissioning of these units is scheduled for January 15 and 16, 2019. Once this last remaining task is complete residents in lower Balfour should no longer experience water service interruptions during power outages. As mentioned in the last update, residents in Upper Balfour (anyone that access their home from Upper Balfour Road, Queens Bay Road with the exception of residents on School House Road) will need to wait until the pumps are moved to the Water Treatment Plant before they can be provided power from the generators during power outages. The design for this has been completed and is currently out for the required permit from Interior Health. We expect this work to be completed by April. We thank all residents of Balfour for their continued patience.
UPDATE - September 27, 2018:
Last Wednesday, Kaslo Industrial completed the work to connect the new reservoir to the Water Treatment Plant and the distribution system. The Balfour Water system is now using this new reservoir, we thank the community for their patience and understanding as this required a system wide shut down and a subsequent Boil Water Notice. As of today (September 27, 2018) the Boil Water Notice required as a result of this work has been rescinded.
The back up generators for both the Water Treatment Plant and Lake Pump Station have arrived on-site and will be placed on the concrete pads. Over the next few weeks, Trainor Mechanical will be doing the electrical connections and commissioning required for these generators. As these generators are powered by natural gas both Fortis and CGW will be assisting with making this connection. We will provide further updates as this work progresses and the generators are fully functioning. These generators will ensure that water service is not interrupted during power outages. For the residents located in Upper Balfour (anyone that access their home from Upper Balfour Road, Queens Bay Road with the exception of residents on School House Road) we have begun the work to move the pumps from the Post Office to the Water Treatment Plant. This move will need to be completed before these pumps are tied into the back up generators. This work has just begun as we took the summer to meter the existing pumps to ensure the new pumps are sized correctly. Continue to watch this website for updates on this as well. The existing pumps cannot be reused as they are no longer supported by the manufacturer and are outdated.
As for the Universal Metering portion of this project, Corix has made contact with all but 55 residents. We hope that these remaining residents contact Corix very soon, using any of the following methods:
UPDATE - August 31, 2018:
Western Tank & Lining has completed the installation of the new reservoir. Kaslo Industrial is currently on-site completing the pipe and ground work required to connect this new reservoir to the treatment plant. As this work is on-going we are requesting residents refrain from walking through the site; barricades and signs are up notifying people of this request. Over the next few weeks, Western Tank & Lining will return to commission the new tank and Kaslo Industrial will perform the actual connection.
The Universal Metering portion of this project is also progressing well. Corix, the meter installation contractor, has made contact with all but 83 properties in Balfour. One of the biggest issue to date is the prevalence of Poly B (Polybutylene) and other non-standard piping within Balfour homes. Poly B pipe was a previously accepted standard and was used quite extensively between 1978 and 1988 and has since been de-listed as an acceptable standard due to pipe and fitting failures. We encourage residents of Balfour that suspect they may have Poly B in their residences to research and consider replacing this piping. We have instructed Corix to not install meters connecting to Poly B and other non-standard piping. This directive could result in additional work and/or the requirement for more meters than anticipated to be installed in a pit outside of private property. For those 83 properties we have not heard from, please contact Corix as soon as possible by either of the following methods:
1) Call: 1-855-455-3696
2) Visit: www.corix.com/balfour
3) E-mail: email@example.com
UPDATE - August 16, 2018:
Corix is now in Balfour installing water meters. For your convenience, appointment times are available seven days a week, including evenings. Please contact Corix directly to book your appointment via any of the following 3 methods:
As we approach the end of summer it is critical that we secure appointments with our seasonal residents. Thank you for your cooperation.
UPDATE - August 8, 2018:
Western Tank & Lining has begun the installation of the reservoir and this portion of the project will proceed quite rapidly. Once the reservoir installation is complete, Kaslo Industrial will be on-site to begin the work of connecting this new reservoir to the water system. The original intention was to disassemble and scrap the old reservoir. We have heard from a number of residents lately requesting we keep this old reservoir up to assist with wildfires as it could assist with filling tenders. The RDCK will be evaluating this and updating the community once completed. Should this be a viable option; the reservoir would not store potable water and only be filled at times when wildfires are affecting the community or adjacent areas.
UPDATE - August 1, 2018:
The installation of water meters will be starting in mid- August. To book an appointment for your meter installation, please call Corix Water Products at 1-855-455-3696. Alternatively, you can request an appointment through their online self-serve portal, by visiting www.corix.com/balfour or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Your account number and the last name of the account holder will be required to book. Appointments can be booked Monday through Friday, from 8am to 8pm, and on Saturday and Sundays from 9am to 5pm. The water meter installations are expected to be completed by Fall 2018.
A letter was recently sent out to all property owners in Balfour with detailed information on the upgrades project including the universal metering installations. You can view the letter HERE and the accompanying FAQ HERE.
Trainor Mechanical, the contractor that performed the watermain upgrade portion of this project, has completed the paving and much of the rehabilitation work. Hydroseeding will occur as soon as the weather allows; the seed will not take in hot temperatures. Trainor is scheduled to return at the end of August to install the generators at both the lake pump station and water treatment plant.
Water meters have been installed for all developed properties within the Balfour Water System. Meter usage data is now being monitored.
If you have a meter installed in your home/building, you are able to read your meter and monitor your water usage. Please find a fact sheet on reading your meter HERE.
For general information on water meters, including detecting leaks, click HERE.
Universal Metering Project Timeline
The expected Universal Metering Project timeline is outlined below. This timeline is subject to change dependent on many project variables:
|November 2017 - February 2018||Site visits to determine metering needs|
|February - July 2018||Installation contractor tendering process|
|Summer/Fall 2018||Meter installation period|
|Fall 2018 - Summer 2019||RDCK will monitor meter readings|
|Fall 2019||RDCK will formulate metered rate structure|
|January 2020||Balfour utility billing transfers to metered billing|
The public outreach program for this project includes: mailouts with timely information, notices posted within the Balfour community, regular updates posted on the RDCK website and facebook page, water notifications, and a community meeting / open house.
If you would like to receive notifications regarding this project by text or phone message please call the Utility Billing office at (250) 352-8182.
A WaterSmart Ambassador is available in the summer months during the project to help water users who wish to learn more about water conservation in preparation for the transition to metered billing. The Ambassador can be reached at 250-505-8167 or WaterSmartCentral@rdck.bc.ca.
RDCK Water Services staff are always available to answer questions about the Balfour Upgrades and Universal Metering Project. Please feel free to contact us at (250) 352-8171 or WaterContact@rdck.bc.ca anytime.
The content on this page was last updated May 22 2019 at 9:35 AM