QC committee hears ideas on improving water system

  • Jan. 15, 2003 5:00 a.m.

Water metering, a second reservoir and a water storage facility at Stanley Lake are recommended to ensure adequate water for Queen Charlotte, according to the engineer supervising the community’s water supply development.
These three steps are recommended because last summer’s test well drilling showed “a low potential for developing additional groundwater supplies in the Queen Charlotte City area,” says Brian Walker of Dayton & Knight Consulting Engineers, in a letter dated January 7 and sent to the management committee.
Water metres and a user-pay rate schedule would encourage conservation, and the second reservoir would allow water to be stored for use during peak use periods and bring Queen Charlotte’s fire fighting ability up to municipal standards, says Mr. Walker.
The Stanley Lake reservoir proposal is a long-term project that would require study, and Mr. Walker recommends that the management committee apply for a study grant from Victoria to examine the feasibility of using Stanley Lake and the Honna River as a water source.
Queen Charlotte’s present water supply is adequate, but not abundant. There can be water shortages during extended dry periods, says Victor La Boucane, system maintenance supervisor.
At present, Queen Charlotte gets its water from three wells, with a fourth sometimes used. Most of the water comes from wells #11 and #12 at the Tarundl River. About 25 wells in total have been drilled to supply Queen Charlotte with water, says Carol Kulesha of the management committee.
The community uses an average of 5000 gallons per hour but demand can go as high as 6000 gal/hr. The only reservoir, located near 1st and Alder Streets, holds 100,000 gallons, enough to supply the town for twenty hours. A major fire could drain that reservoir in a worst case scenario, says Mr. La Boucane.
In the last year, the management committee reduced production from wells #11 and #12 to prevent salt water from leaking into the aquifer. The wells are now pumping at a sustainable level, but their production is lower than originally predicted when they were first drilled.
Within a couple of weeks, Mr. Walker will provide the management committee with a more detailed summary of the summer drilling project and its impact on water planning.