Friday, September 10, 2021

Latest Prince Rupert water woes should serve as reminder for Council to provide an update on water infrastructure issues

The West side of the city was put under a Water advisory this 
week by the City of Prince Rupert. 
As November Storm season approaches this weeks notes
may be the preamble for what may be ahead.

An area of Prince Rupert was put under a Water Advisory this week, the residents of Section Two in the Graham / Atlin and surrounding area advised of the situation through updates from the City of Prince Rupert from Tuesday afternoon.

The water supply situation for the more upscale west side perhaps is not as large a concern as it would be in other areas of the city; with the majority of the residents in that part of town probably more able to provide for the purchase of water filtration options from their favourite plumber to help them navigate the city's ongoing water issues. 

Though they may be likely to express their thoughts on their level of taxes compared to services.

The latest advisory comes just two months after the City of Prince Rupert had quietly lifted their long running Water Advisory, the most recent of which carried on a theme that started back in 2020 and today, like then the issue of turbidity in the drinking supply water and the use of the Shawatlans Lake water source made for the narrative for the advisory.

The first notes of the current water situation from the water source came in August of 2020 and much like the notice this week  it came following heavy rains in the region.

When they get around to updates on the current west side situation, the City perhaps may want to  expand on the overview to provide some up to date information on the progress of the dam project at Woodworth Lake, as well as the state of the city's planning for a water treatment facility.

The topic has not generated much discussion in recent months from the Mayor or City Council members, it's last mention coming as a line item from a report from CFO Corinne Bomben at the August 25th session which noted that "the dam and land fill projects are still under construction and are expected to be completed by the calendar year"

The status of the dam did gain a mention in the City's Annual Report from June, though no real timeline for its introduction into service was provided.

The water infrastructure issues made for a significant portion of the Hays 2.0 presentation in 2015, which at the time had provided for a timeline of 2015-2019 for the Water dam project.

The dam construction plans were revised in 2018 with the construction start pushed back to 2019, then an advisory that the majority of the work would take place in 2020

The trail of information went a little cold after that brief advisory of two years ago, though Council did approve authorization in April of this year,  towards the borrowing process for the infrastructure project

With the fall rains soon to arrive, the time is probably just right for a full and complete update on the challenges of the city's water supply issues and what the city has done to date to address them, as well as if there have been any increased costs realized owing to the delays. 

If no formal presentation is offered up by the Mayor or city staff, the topic should make for a question or two from someone on Council at their next public session currently scheduled for September 20th.

You can track the many months of water woes from our archive pages below:

Water Advisories 2020-2021
Water Advisories 2018-2019

A look at the City of Prince Rupert's updates on infrastructure themes is available here.

While City Council Discussion notes can be examined from our archive page.

1 comment:

  1. If taxpayers are informed on a regular basis, they are more likely to give the city a pass while they continue to work towards a solution.

    If taxpayers are not informed on a regular basis, you will see citizens take to social media to light up local officials.

    The water project started in 2014 and is expected to end in 2023. To see communication lapses this far along is disappointing and residents expect better.