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City unveils 2018 water budget

POWELL RIVER, B.C.- The City has released its 2018 water operations budget.

The current water system includes one main source of supply from Haslam Lake, with a backup source from Powell Lake, 144 kilometres of water main, 1085 water valves, 683 fire hydrants, and 22 pressure-reducing valves.

According to the city document, the 2018 budget has a net cost increase of $242,259 over 2017.

Attributed to those costs are $170,000 in wages and benefits and $118,000 in special projects.

Some of the special projects slated for 2018 are:

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  • An inundation study of Haslam Lake and Weir ($20,000)
  • A Water Assessment Management Plan ($43,750)
  • A DCC review ($20,000 with 50% funded by Sewer, & 50% funded by Water)

Challenges to the water system identified in the report include the cost of upgrading aging infrastructure, such as the numerous asbestos/cement (AC) water mains in the distribution system.

The budget reports stated that the majority of AC mains were installed in the 1960s and are now prone to failure.

The City of Powell River’s sewer system includes over 138 kilometres of sanitary sewer mains, 109 kilometres of storm mains, 1725 sanitary manholes and 15 lift stations, along with 866 storm manholes and 2160 catch basins.

There are also three sewer treatment facilities, in Westview, Townsite and a lagoon in Wildwood.

In the wastewater utility operations budget, a $337,560 net cost increase over last year was calculated.

The document listed an opportunity to consolidate the three existing treatment facilities into one.

According to the document, other governments have shown interest in working Powell River to help reduce costs.

The full budget document can be viewed through this link.

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