The District of Barriere is considering digging another well and developing a long-term water plan after a staff report suggested rehabbing Deep Well 2 – the community’s main water-providing well – had only a slim chance of success.
Utilities manager Ian Crosson told Council Monday night that recent discussions with Thierry Carriou of BC Groundwater suggest there is only a 33 percent chance a faulty valve in the DW2 well could be repaired. If the well is damaged and has to shut down, he said, the district would have to rely on the Bradford Park well, which has neither the quality nor the quantity to serve area residents.
Although it’s safe to drink, water from Bradford Park is the colour of iced tea, Crosson said, and “isn’t good water.”
“Staff is posed right now with a massive decision based on the fact we’re faced with having one well to provide half-decent water to our community,” Crosson said. “We’re all aware that DW2, our main water-producing well is seeing signs of failure and is way past its expected life … that is quite alarming to myself and to staff. This is our only clean source of water right now.”
Mayor Ward Stamer said they are on “borrowed time” with the DW2 well, which was built in 1997. He said he prefers digging a new well within the same aquifer as it would allow the district to continue pumping out 600 gallons of water per minute, and likely wouldn’t need to be treated. A new six-inch well is estimated to cost up to $80,000, while an eight-inch well is about $200,000.
Tru Engineering is slated to visit the district Friday to look at the potential and feasibility of the cost to replace the green sand filters in the Spruce Crescent well house.
Crosson noted he would like to see the district do something similar to Chase, which has a new water treatment facility for water coming from both the North Thompson River and its well. Potential treatment could include greensand filtration for Deep Well 1, he added.
Meanwhile, Barriere remains under Stage 2 watering restrictions. Residents are allowed to water their plants with a garden hose and an approved shut off valve. Even-numbered property addresses can water on even-numbered days, and odd-numbered property addresses on odd-numbered days during bylaw prescribed watering time.
Council also gave third reading on Monday to change the bylaw to enforce water restrictions, with fines for those in non-compliance. The proposed fines for Stage 2 would range from $150 for a first offence to $500 for a third offence.