Montrose – Water testing tests council’s cash coffers

Testing the water quality in Montrose has resulted with a hefty bill, according to council officials.

  • Jul. 19, 2012 4:00 p.m.

Testing the water quality in Montrose has resulted with a hefty bill, according to council officials.

In 2011 the Village of Montrose spent roughly $17,000 on water tests to prepare for the new well and chlorination facility in the area.

More than one year ago, the Village issued a boil water advisory because of test results indicating low levels of total coliforms, a verdict that informed residents their water did not meet the BC Drinking Water Protection Regulation. Although the drinking water officer has urged council to order regular water quality tests, the costs have become somewhat of a burden.

In the July 16 regular council meeting Mayor Joe Danchuk asked staff to investigate whether testing could be done bi-weekly, instead of weekly, in both upper and lower zones to conserve cash reserves.

He reminded council members that the long-standing boil water advisory is still in effect.

“Any positive hits of total coliform is a bad thing when you’re trying to get clean water,” Kevin Chartres, the chief administrative officer, indicated while informing council that the water-testing officer wanted to see more tests being done.

“And so far, 25 was the highest reading.”

Some highlights of the new well and chlorination facility include a flow meter and state of the art communications.

It also includes a $1.3 million reduction in infrastructure costs, cleaner water that eliminates health risks and a sustainable water supply.

In addition, an on-site generator will provide back up power to wells during power outages.

On July 3, village council approved Redwood Engineering’s initial fee estimate of $25,000 for the structural design and drafting for the pump house and contact chamber.

Redwood will complete structural schedules in compliance with the BC Building Code.

At that time, TRUE Consulting recommended partnering with the local engineer group to work on the structural component of this project because of the firm’s experience.

“It adds complexity to the project if an out-of-town consultant has to schedule visits,” Chartres said while justifying the village council’s decision to oust a series of slightly lower estimates from other companies.

Previously, a $1.3-million Gas Tax Fund grant was bestowed on Montrose for water quality upgrades that includes the creation of a chlorination facility and replacement of a failing well. The grant will aid construction of a new well and pump house.