PenderBlog From The Pender Islands Of Canada

November 8, 2009

Clarification on desalination…

Filed under: Governance and Legal — Jocko @ 4:22 pm

From Jim Petrie:
As Chair of the Magic Lake Estates Water and Sewer Local Services Committee,  I feel I must respond to the misinformation that Peter Kearvall has submitted to PenderBlog regarding the upcoming referendum for improvements to our Water and Sewer System.

As I had transmitted to him via the Pender Post Editor two weeks ago, we had indeed looked at the prospect of desalination while we were formulating our business plan on the system upgrade and if you will check the posted committee and the engineering reports to us, you will see the information we received from the CRD Environmental Dept. on the subject, also that the report is current, May 2007 rather than 10 yrs. old as suggested in his circular.

I am including the email I sent via the Pender Post Editor to him, which I thought would  be satisfactory, obliviously not, as he sounds confused enough to enlarge on this issue within the community.

Reply to Peter Kearvell’s suggestion of desalination:

During the planning phase of the water treatment plant upgrade the Committee looked at various options  for water treatment. One of the options discussed was the feasibility of utilizing a desalination process.

The CRD Environmental Dept. did research for the Committee and  submitted a report back to us which indicated that the equipment costs would be much higher than the cost for  a  conventional  treatment plant, the operating costs would be significantly higher due to the large amounts of electricity used in the process, the system would be more labour intensive in operating and monitoring the system and there was the problem of disposing of the effluent created by the process.

In discussions with the Islands Trust Representatives, the suggestion was that we would find it very difficult or impossible to get the various Govt. approvals to remove water from the ocean and  discharge the residue effluent back into the environment, especially given the fact that we had access to a fresh water supply on Island.

The decision was made by the Committee to discard this option and work on securing the most efficient and cost effective system to replace the current Buck Lake filtration system which does not treat water to present standards during periods of water turbidity in the reservoir.

The CRD report which was presented to the Committee on May 13th. 2008 can be read on their website under Magic Lake Estates Water and Sewer Local Services Committee and is headed Evaluation of Desalination as a Potential Drinking Water Source.  (see Item 6 below)

Jim Petrie, Chair
Magic Lake Estates Water and Sewer Local Services Committee

The following is from:

Minutes of the Magic Lake Estates Water and Sewer Local Services Committee Held Tuesday, 13 May 2008 CRD Offices, Room 333, 625 Fisgard Street, Victoria, BC

Item 6  Evaluation of Desalination as a Potential Drinking Water Source
Colwyn Sunderland presented a written report further to a motion adopted at the committee meeting of April 8, 2008. The report presented a preliminary assessment of the feasibility of desalinating seawater as a primary source of drinking water for Magic Lake Estates.

The report concluded that the proposed approach to supply water from both Buck and Magic Lakes to a single treatment plant would be more cost-effective than seawater desalination for the supply of drinking water to Magic Lake Estates. Regulatory approval and eligibility for infrastructure grants may also be impediments to seawater desalination.

The Magic Lake Estates Water and Sewer Local Services Committee received the report for information and agreed to continue deliberations to proceed to referendum based on the proposed Dissolved Air Floatation (DAF) treatment plant.

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