Trail council has taken steps toward drilling and constructing a back up well at Bear Creek. (Image: Google Maps)

Trail goes forward with backup well

The Bear Creek Well services 1200 properties, and about one-third of the city’s water demand

With one aging well serving hundreds of Trail households, city council has taken first steps toward drilling a new water source.

To shovel-ready the Bear Creek Backup Well project, a $73,000 contract was awarded to local firm Austin Engineering during the Oct. 11 governance meeting.

In 2017, council approved a capital project for the development of water system projects throughout the city, and a backup well for Bear Creek was determined to be of highest priority.

“These ‘shovel ready’ projects would be available to submit, should future infrastructure funding opportunities become available,” Public Works Director Chris McIsaac noted in his report.

Constructed in 1981 with an estimated 25 to 30-year life span, the Bear Creek well supplies water to approximately 1,200 properties in Glenmerry, Shavers Bench, Miral Heights, and the Waneta area.

Of the 4,000+ water service connections in the City of Trail, the Bear Creek well accounts for about one-third or 8ML/day, of water supplied to the entire city.

“Presently, there is no evidence that the well has reached its full life expectancy,” McIsaac stated. “However, if it were to fail the WTP (Water Treatment Plant) would have difficulties keeping up with current peak demand.”

(The City of Trail water distribution system originates from two sources: the Bear Creek Well and the Columbia River, which is treated in the Sunningdale WTP)

McIsaac said a recent hydro-geological report indicated the Bear Creek Aquifer will support a second well of similar capacity to the existing well.

Although it is proposed to initially use the new well as a backup only, it will be designed to have the capacity to replace the existing well should it become necessary to do so.

Three bids, which included the first and second phase of work, were submitted through a Request for Proposal process.

Council also agreed to accept Austin Engineering’s Phase 2 bid of $93,650 to complete tendering, construction inspection, and administrative management should the capital project be funded in the future.

“While Austin Engineering was not the lowest bid received, in review it is the opinion of staff that their submission was superior and will provide the best value for the city in the long-run,” clarified Chief Administrative Officer David Perehudoff.

“Further, it is noted that the RFP (Request for Proposal) was developed in such a way that the city will be committing to the firm for both phases,” he added.

“This makes the most sense given the nature of the project as it pertains to continuity and familiarity with the project. Phase II will be contingent on further funding either from a grant or should the city fund the project directly.

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