Recent History – 2003
September 9, 2003 – By Gary Rusak, Daily News Staff
Updates to Dawson Creek’s water system will cost the city an additional $200,000, Peter Gigliotti of Urban Systems told city council Monday.
“At the end of the day it’s going to be about $200,000 more than was approved,” he said.
The city has already allocated $1.5 million dollars towards the first phase of the Water Quality Assurance Plan. The initial money will be allocated to deal with what the reports says is “a serious concern over the lack of protection against cryptosporidium,” a dangerous pathogen that is spread through animal waste.
The original plan was to combat this pathogen with treatment from Ultra Violet lights. After an intensive study it was found that the water sources around Dawson Creek would not respond to that treatment.
“At the tap you have a high level of dissolved organic carbon in the water,” said Gigliotti. “You can’t see it or smell it but it interferes with the UV light.”
The inability of the light to work leaves the water open to potentially dangerous by-products. The alternative to the UV light is where the additional costs will be incurred.
“What we are looking at what is essentially a humongous Brita filter,” said Gigliotta. Urban Systems has already received a number of tenders for the implementation of the system.
Ian Eggertson, Dawson Creek’s chief financial officer, assured council that the added cost to the project would not have to be downloaded upon the public, just yet.
“We had previously changed the method of taxation,” he said. “The current rates will be sufficient until 2006.”
Coun. Bud Powell noted that the public should understand that clean drinkable water is a commodity that is not free.
“Everyone in this day and age has to realize that the price of water is going up everywhere,” he said.
Council immediately approved the extra money. Mayor Wayne Dahlen was quick to point out that the water system as it is now is safe. He said that any improvements are meant to secure the future safety of the water and not a reflection of the current status.
“Our water system now is good,” agreed John Malcolm, deputy chief administrative officer.
“This proposal will move it to a ‘best of the best’ type situation.”