As I was watering my garden on an odd day as we are in stage one water restrictions, my neighbour asked how many property’s in Union Bay have water supplied and who regulates the water? I said depending on who you ask. I told him that was a great question and went out to get some answers.
Water source description;
The Langley Lake Water Supply Area, is within the Hart/Washer Creek Watershed, for a total of 395 hectares (976 acres), of which Langley Lake itself comprises approximately 31 hectares (76.6 acres)
Water supply system the distribution boundaries are Tsable River / Highway 19A in the south and the end of Kilmarnock in the north end. The distribution network has approximately 40 kilometers of pipeline. A water license to extract from Langley Lake provides all the water for the system. The raw water is gravity fed to the reservoir where it is treated with chlorine gas prior to distribution.
The new treatment plant will have a treatment capacity of 14 litres (3.07 imperial gallons) per second compared to the current system with 708 connections that utilizes 4 Liters (.87 imperial gallons) to 10 litres (2.2 imperial gallons) per second depending on the season.
The Potable Water Servicing and Infrastructure Agreement between Union Bay Estates and the Union Bay Improvement District was signed December 2017. The Comox Valley Regional District approved the zoning application and some of the key elements are:
• The initial phase is for 60-100 single family residences – any further development requires that the developer provide third party hydrological studies that can prove that the quantity of water in Langley Lake will meet demand of the increased hook-ups or suggest a secondary source.
• UBID is responsible for the provision of potable water including daily operations and billing. In addition, the UBID is to responsible for:
1. Survey costs associated with land
2. Decommissioning of current reservoirs
3. Remediation of current treatment plant
Regulatory compliance Drinking water in BC is regulated under the Drinking Water Protection Act (Act) and the Drinking Water Protection Regulation (Regulation). Drinking Water Officers (DWOs) conduct inspections and work with water suppliers to meet the Act and Regulation. The primary goal is to work with suppliers so they can provide potable water that is safe to drink without further treatment. UBID’s water system is required to:
• Comply with the Act and Regulation
• Obtain a construction permit or construction permit wavier prior to constructing or modifying the water system
• Obtain an operating permit
• Operate the system according to the legislation and any terms and conditions on the permit
• Have a trained water system operator
• Have an emergency response and contingency plan
• Monitor the quality of the water • Immediately notify the DWO of any threats to the drinking water
• Provide public notice of threats as required
• Make emergency response plans and annual reports public
• Conduct water source and system assessments
UBID holds Conditional Water Licences 112815 and 112817 that together authorize water storage in Langley Lake and water use for waterworks purpose along with the construction and operation of works within the boundaries of the Union Bay Improvement District. The licences cumulatively authorize the use of 178 million gallons per year at a rate not to exceed 1,828,000 gallons a day. This equates to 809,204 cubic metres per year at a constant average draw of 25.7 litres(5.9 Imperial Gallons) per second.
Information from “Source to Tap” Prepared for the Union Bay Improvement District by Sonya Jenssen, MA Winter 2019
Test results for UBID available here: Island Health test results – raw and distribution. https://www.healthspace.ca/Clients/VIHA/VIHA_Website.nsf/Water-Samples-Frameset?OpenPage
Union Bay Improvement Inspection Report
CLEAN AND SAFE WATER FOR UNION BAY JS Mattison August, 2017