City moves ahead to protect Bear Creek well

Trail is pouring its money into the next phase of a ground water protection plan to protect its 30-year-old well that serves about one-third of the city’s water demands.

Trail is pouring its money into the next phase of a ground water protection plan to protect its 30-year-old well that serves about one-third of the city’s water demands.

The Bear Creek well, near the sewage treatment plant in Waneta, has been in operation since 1981 and pumps water from an aquifer to Glenmerry, Waneta, and Green Gables reservoirs that service Shavers Bench, Miral Heights, Glenmerry and Waneta.

“The well is of high value,” said Trail councillor Gord DeRosa.

“The water quality is extremely good, the water volume is exceedingly good and we’ve seen little or no deterioration in the well and therefore it’s in the city’s best interest to carry on with a well protection plan.”

Hence the city’s decision this month to spend about $27,000 on the next phase of the ground water protection plan. The next step includes developing management strategies, all while continuing to monitor the well and aquifer.

“The city is just doing its due diligence in the protection of the well,” said DeRosa.

“The well is probably the best well that we’ve seen in the entire Basin – I don’t think there is one better.”

Though former Trail councillor Norm Gabana recently voiced his concern of new development near the well potentially impacting the water source, city administrator Michelle McIsaac said the city has had its eye on Bear Creek for a number of years.

“The protection of the city’s water source is very important to council,” she said. “The phasing of the ground water protection plan has been a big dollar ticket and it has been in the capital plan for a number of years.”

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary recently sold a 1.32-acre lot in front of the sewage treatment plant to Trail in hopes that the sale of the buffer land, expanding the footprint of the property to four acres, would make a desirable spot to set up a business.

The cost of the property is unknown at this time, as both parties address the technical and legal issues associated with completing the transaction.

Though the appraisal has been conducted, the subdivision plan has been prepared but not, yet, registered.

That portion of the property has been rezoned to Highway Commercial, the same zone designation of the City-owned property that AM Ford Plus leases.  Talks are underway with respect to the development of the property but are not finalized.