West Shore residents may have noticed a slightly unusual sight in the new Westhills development in Langford which caused a stir on social media last month.
In a Facebook discussion about a pair of large, dark domes at the top of the hill overlooking West Shore Parkway, commenters suggested the structures were everything from an indoor soccer field to a water reservoir, and even a few light-hearted individuals said they were, in fact, a new slow cooker designed to serve more than 5,000 people or an alien landing pad.
Unsurprisingly, the twin structures are not welcome centres for extra-terrestrials. They are in fact far less exciting water reservoirs, as one commenter helpfully clarified, but that doesn’t make them any less important.
Confirming their true purpose, Kyle Taylor, a manager with Sustainable Services Ltd. which operates the Westhills water system, said the reservoirs form an important part of the system which serves the growing subdivision.
”We have a pump station at West Shore Parkway which is connected to the CRD transmission line … as the lands get built out, it becomes less and less appropriate to put all of your eggs in one basket, so you move to a storage-based water supply system,” Taylor said.
“Anytime there is a peak in demand, it will be able to draw down nice and gently from those reservoirs.”
Once online, each structure will hold up to 4.3 million litres of water. In addition to the day-to-day task of helping the system meet peak water demands, they will also play a vital role in ensuring there is enough water being fed to hydrants in the area in the event of a fire.
Taylor said similar reservoirs can be found throughout Greater Victoria, but they are usually located in areas the average resident wouldn’t think to look.
With the area surrounding the Westhills reservoirs currently bare to allow for construction, curious residents are able to spot them from some distance.
In the future, that is likely to change, however. Taylor said current plans are for vegetation to be planted around the reservoirs to help them blend in, in addition to security fencing. But there is also a chance their prominence could be taken advantage of rather than being reduced.
He said there are discussions about using the structures as a canvas for some local art.
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