File photo The Oxford reservoir and pumping station is the site of White Rock’s new water-treatment plant, due to be in operation by the end of January.

White Rock’s new water system to be ‘benchmark’

Water-treatment plant construction underway, on-stream by January

White Rock’s new water-treatment plant on Oxford Street should be up and running by the end of January – and ready for a grand opening by World Water Day in March that will highlight the city’s water system as a “benchmark.”

That was among information shared last week with White Rock council, as manager of utilities, engineering and municipal operations Saad Jasim presented the annual corporate report on the city’s water.

Jasim said he was happy with the way the water system is progressing since the purchase of the utility from Epcor in 2015.

“It’s a challenge for any city to take (on) a utility that’s been run by a private system, because the investment is not there, the infrastructure and all that… the water department worked around the clock to make things happen.”

Among highlights for 2017, he said, were increased water capacity, through the Merklin pumping station facility and reservoir completed in April of that year, and the development of a uniform system for secondary disinfection that meets Fraser Health requirements, while also eliminating esthetic issues such as cloudy or brown water.

He added the partnership with research program RES’AU-Water-NET identified the best technology to reduce naturally occurring arsenic and manganese in the water – now being implemented in construction of the water-treatment plant – while, the report says that water-main flushing in November and December targeted decades of manganese deposits in the distribution system.

Other work done in 2017, according to the report, included leak detection, training of operators to certificate standards, regular reporting of water-sample tests to show compliance with Canadian drinking water guidelines and beginning an ongoing aquifer-protection plan to ensure future water quantity and quality needs will be met.

“I know that contractors are a little upset sometimes because I’m on their back all the time, checking, questioning everything they say and they do, because we want to have the best system for the city,” Jasim said.

“This will be a benchmark for this region, and not just for this region, but in North America.

“In fact, the City of Surrey indicated clearly they are waiting for us. Once we complete the design of the system, they want to build a plant. They have that in writing now, when we did the aquifer-protection plan. They’re looking at 2023 to start their system.

“It will be good to be followed by other municipalities, especially much bigger ones.”

Concrete pouring for the new treatment plant started at the site on May 28, Jasim said. The building to house the plant is scheduled for completion by the first week of July, and delivery of plant equipment by the beginning of August.

Commissioning – bringing the plant up to working condition – would start by December, he said.

The plan is to have the system ready by the end of January 2019, Jasim said, noting, however, that the federal and provincial governments are anxious to see a public event recognizing the $11.79 million in grant funding they provided for the plant.

Jasim said the city plans to have two events – one the week of Sept. 17, when the building is complete, and the grand opening in March, after the plant is scheduled to be in full operation.

“I would suggest here maybe the World Water Day on March 22 would be a good event to launch, officially, the plant,” he said.

Just Posted

THE SCENE

Arts and Entertainment on the Semiahmoo Peninsula

Take-home naloxone may be replacing 911 calls in Fraser Health area

Naloxone kits handed out up 29% over 2017, ambulance calls and emergency visits down 22-24%, deaths hold steady

Two 23-year-old men die in separate Surrey motorcycle crashes in three days

One man died Thursday night after his motorcycle crashed on Highway 10, and another man died following a Tuesday crash

334 brush and grass fires in Surrey since May 1

Surrey Fire Service says so far this month, there’s been at least 60

Renegades ‘02 undefeated through two days at softball nationals

White Rock ‘04 and ‘05 squads also at Canadian championships in Montreal

VIDEO: Surrey to host Western Regional Quidditch Championship in 2019

The fictional game in the Harry Potter series has become popular around the world, with 600 athletes in Canada alone

Tim Hortons says its China expansion will include menu with congee, matcha

Coffee chain plans to open 1,500 stores in Asia over the next decade

How to help B.C. wildfire victims

Donations being taken by many organizations, BC Hydro waiving bills

5 to start your day

Mt. Hicks fire near Agassiz 15% contained, man dead in Surrey motorcycle incident and more

Whole city of Kimberley on an evacuation alert due to wildfires

Residents woke up Friday morning being told to get ready to leave any moment

Feds to allow charities to engage in political, but not partisan, activity

The plan is to allow charities to pursue political activities

Trump suggests Canada has been sidelined from latest NAFTA negotiations

Canadian officials have insisted they’re unfazed by being left out of the discussions

B.C. judge who cried during a victim statement to rule on recusing herself

The judge will decide if she’ll disqualify herself from sentencing a man for sexual assault

Photographer files complaint with police after alleged assault on the job

Toronto photographer says he was attacked while covering a protest

Most Read