Councillor proposes another option

Coun. Maria Besso suggests the funds be directed solely to the Mission Hill water treatment plant

New ideas are coming down the pipeline to get better use of local water and taxpayer’s dollars.

A $111 million master water plan has been identified, which could see taxpayers going to a petition process or referendum in November 2014.

The plan includes providing filtration at the Duteau Creek treatment plant for $26.5 million and at the Mission Hill plant for $30 million, among other improvements.

While the plan is already being submitted to Interior Health for approval, one local politician says it’s not the best use of taxpayer’s dollars,

Considering that the majority of domestic water use comes from Mission Hill, Coldstream Coun. Maria Besso suggests the funds be directed solely to that plant.

“Instead of building the plant at Duteau, do filtration at Mission Hill,” said Besso, noting that 80 per cent of domestic use is from that station versus only 20 per cent at Duteau.

“It would end up costing us the same amount, we’re just doing it in a different order.”

Using water usage data from 2011 and 2012, Besso says that in the summer, on a peak day, of the 160 million litres being treated in a day at Duteau it is estimated that only six million litres are for domestic.

The remaining 154 million litres are being sprayed on fields for irrigation.

“It would be a crime to put filtered water on fields,” said Besso.

And in the winter, Besso adds, treatment of the average 225 million litres per month at Duteau costs $363 per million litres. Whereas Mission Hill treatment cost $83 per million litres for the 522 million litres per month.

“I think we’re going in the wrong direction,” she said.