Hicks wants home-grown solution to water issues

Gas tax funds could be used for stand pipes in Juan de Fuca Electoral Area

Juan de Fuca Electoral Area Director Mike Hicks.

The Juan de Fuca Water Distribution Commission came together on January 7 to discuss bulk water dispensing stations. Previously the Sooke News Mirror reported on the fact that many residents in the Juan de Fuca, and in other areas of the CRD, would be paying more for delivery of potable water.

New bulk water dispensing stations will be installed in Sooke, Langford and East Sooke. The East Sooke station is to be complete in 2014.

At the meeting JdF Area Director Mike Hicks said he was offering up his meager gas tax funds to pay for two stand pipes on each end of the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area.

“I suggested, and was backed by Herb Haldane, that we want to provide water as efficiently as we can to customers not on the water system,” said Hicks.

Hicks said there are 600 people needing potable water.

The cost of those stand pipes would be between $5,000 and $10,000 and they would be placed as close to Otter Point as they can get and the other could be on the new East Sooke Fire Department property.

A report by the CRD had been presented to the JdFWDC outlining an intended ‘accomplish list.’ The bulk water dispensing stations would allow for such things as: accurate metered discharge/billing information; automatic flow control valve; pressure reducing valves and heated meters and piping and installation of stations in areas which are safe and not impacted by sudden increased demand during filling cycles.

Hicks said there are 18 water suppliers and those changes to the dispensing stations were necessary to meet their goals.

Hicks said he argues that there were only two suppliers of potable water and goals could be achieved with a stand pipe.

“I want to separate the potable water suppliers from the rest of the water suppliers which are mostly for construction,” said Hicks. “Every single objective can be met. The good news is that we’re still in the game.”

At the end of the meeting, the report to the JdFWDC was tabled so the CRD water staff could look at the feasibility of Mike Hicks’ suggestion. Any changes would require a change in the bylaws.

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