The proposed route of a water main to the Kemp Lake Waterworks District.

Safer water for Kemp Lake water users possible

Grant application, if approved, could solve water treatment problems

For years the residents getting their drinking water from Kemp Lake have not met Island Health’s water treatment standards. They were given a couple of options, one of them included building a new water treatment plant and the other extending the water main along West Coast Road at Erinan.

The extension would be about two kilometers to the Kemp Lake Water Distribution system. To accomplish this the CRD staff have explored accessing a Small Community Grant from the federal government.

At the CRD Electoral Area Services Committee meeting  on January 21, the decision was made to apply for a grant to extend the water main. The preliminary budget is estimated to total $1.8-million of which $1.6-million is expected to be grant eligible.

“If successful,” said Jan de Fuca Electoral Area Director Mike Hicks, “Kemp Lake Water Distribution would receive two-thirds of the cost. There’s a pretty good chance, we heard they (the federal government) is favoring water over sewage projects. I’m very excited for the Juan de Fuca and Kemp Lake people.”

Kevan Brehart, chair of the KLWD Board of Trustees said, “It is going to be fabulous for the residents out there if the grant goes through, it will save us a lot of money.”

The KLWD does not have sufficient funds within their reserves for their share of the project. In order to raise the funds, the CRD will have to establish a local service for the KLWD area, and receive elector approval for a loan authorization. The elector approval process/referendum must be completed within six months of receiving approval of the grant.

Brehart said 460 homes would affected by the decision but it would have to go to referendum or an alternative approval process.

“We’re hoping for the alternative approval process,” said Brehart. “The issue is that we don’t meet VIHA’s drinking water guidelines.”

He said the system has still allowed residents to use the water because they have been diligently trying to solve the issue.

“It’s something we have to do, we don’t have a choice.”

The KLWD would be responsible for the ownership, system hydraulics, and water quality beyond the terminus of the JDFWD system and ensuring that there water is distributed to its owners is of adequate flow rate and pressure, and safe to drink.

Both Brehart and Hicks expressed appreciation for the work each was doing to ensure the grant was applied for.

The grant application need to go before the CRD Board by the February 17 deadline. The entire project would need to be completed by 2018.

Hicks stated that this would be wonderful for the people in the KLWD  as this is the only project being applied for, and it might give them the edge.

“We went for this one, and it’s a biggie,”said Hicks.