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Water Treatment Plant Updates

February 9, 2024

Media Release: Update on the District of Hudson’s Hope Temporary Water Treatment Plant

As the District of Hudson’s Hope (District) prepares for 2024 budget discussions, the District would like to provide an update on the operations of the temporary water treatment plant and the plans to move towards a permanent system.

In 2021, the District commissioned a water treatment plant utilizing two water wells and a reverse osmosis system for treatment of the groundwater. Shortly after the new water treatment plant was implemented, the well water quality unexpectedly started deteriorating, causing several system failures, significant maintenance requirements, and production issues, resulting in substantial damage to the reverse osmosis membranes and equipment. This led to the District issuing a series of Boil Water Notices and a Do Not Consume Order for a period of 12 months. In addition, the District received numerous complaints from the public regarding taste and odors.

To address the water treatment plant failure, the District constructed a temporary water treatment plant and returned to the Peace River as the water source. The temporary water treatment plant abandoned the reserves osmosis process for a clarification-filtration-disinfection process to meet Northern Health’s requirements.

Since mid-July 2023, the District has been able to remain off the Boil Water Notice. While the conversion of the water treatment plant can produce potable water, the current equipment was installed in an emergent and temporary fashion. The system is fragile, labour intensive, and costly to operate and maintain. It includes two temporary water intake pumps lying horizontally within casings at the river’s edge, which have been experiencing clogging issues on the screens over the summer due to the growth of algae in the river, and temporary above ground waterlines that transport the raw water from the river to an on-site trailer equipped with a rented clarifier unit costing between $27,000 – $75,000 per month.

The District has been diligently working on plans to construct a permanent and efficient water treatment plant to address the deficiencies. However, the financial burden associated with such a project is substantial. The District has received an Implementation Strategy, as prepared by McElhanney, outlining viable options and their associated costs at approximately $5,300,000 for the permanent system.

Investing in a permanent water treatment plant is a necessary next step to ensure that we can continue to provide potable water to the community while meeting Northern Health’s requirements, and will lead to long-term cost savings. As the District utilizes the temporary water treatment plant, the District will continue to experience ongoing maintenance expenses and emergency repairs, leaving the District vulnerable to future interruptions in service, including potential water advisories.

At this time, the District has not secured funding for the completion of a permanent water system. As such, the District is using public funds to maintain the temporary solution that were not included in the approved 2023 Financial Plan. During the 2024 budget discussions, the District will examine options to recover costs spent in 2023, determine funding required for water works in 2024, and identify options to fund the construction of the permanent plant in 2025, including borrowing through referendum. As a result, the District will be looking at making some tough choices in the near future.

For updates and further information, please visit www.hudsonshope.ca or email Crystal Brown, Chief Administrative Officer, at cao@hudsonshope.ca.

Sincerely,

Crystal Brown
Chief Administrative Officer

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