After 25 years on Boil Water Notice, residents tapped into the Casino Waterworks District will finally have potable water in the new year.
Read more: Water upgrade coming to Rossland
At the last board meeting of 2019, regional directors agreed to use $70,000 from Area B’s federal Gas Tax funds to cover costs associated with system upgrades, impacting approximately 20 landowners on Casino Road.
While there are properties of Casino served by their own wells, the balance of residences are connected to the community waterworks system.
“(The) system is in need of infrastructure upgrades to ensure reliable water service to those residents that are on the community waterworks system,” began Linda Worley, Area B director for the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB), the branch of local government that oversees Casino lands.
“As director, one of my original concerns going forward in service to the Area B communities was that they have the availability of a reliable and clean water source for their residents.”
Over the past 11 years in her role as an elected official, Worley says a number of communities have been provided with water studies to assess the needs and options open to their residents going forward for clean and reliable water. Recommendations from those reports vary in scope starting with system upgrades and ending with the alternative of turning over utility operations to the regional district.
“Some have chosen to proceed with the option of a regionally-run service,” Worley explained. “And others have been provided with the funding needed to proceed on their own with upgrades to infrastructure, and even in the case of Genelle, with monetary help for the construction of a new reservoir.”
After a water study was completed for Casino a few years ago, Worley says the residents ultimately chose not to move to a regional district-run service. Rather, the property owners decided that when the time was right, they would ask for monetary help to work on their water system.
After being contacted last year, Worley says RDKB staff assisted with funding applications through Area B’s Gas Tax allotments.
“This has resulted in the place we have reached at this point, which is the Casino Waterworks being able to move forward with the much needed infrastructure upgrades,” she said. “This will mean reliable infrastructure to move the flow of water to those residents that their system is able to provide for them, year-round.”
The Casino project involves replacement of the distribution system to enable more water to be delivered to services and allow for future fire protection for homes. Moreover, modern infrastructure will provide homeowners with quality assurance because water will flow through clean pipes maintained in a closed system.
The current distribution infrastructure relies on an under-sized galvanized watermain. This pipeline has surpassed its service life and recent watermain failures have underscored the need to replace it. Overhauling the entire water distribution main (1100 meters total) is planned to be completed as a phased program.
This first leg of work will impact properties between 4175 and 4207 on Casino Road.
The job is expected to be fully underway by spring, with all work completed by the end of May, 2020.
In the last few years, allowable usages for Gas Tax money has been expanded into a funding stream called Community Works Funding.
“And it is now open to approvals for infrastructure planning, water and waste water, active transportation, sports infrastructure, and connectivity just to name a few options,” Worley said.
“This allows the director to approve more good works for their Areas, and then have the information regarding the application go to the board for transparency through final approval of these funding requests.”