Hudson’s Hope water supply switch planned for fall

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Tom Summer Local Journalism Initiative, Alaska Highway News
The Local Journalism Initiative (LJI) supports the creation of original civic journalism. Tom Summer works under the Alaska Highway News in Fort St. John. The content that is produced will be made available to media organizations through a Creative Commons license so that Canadians can be better informed.

The District of Hudson’s Hope will switch its water supply to two new groundwater wells this fall.

The changes come as Site C berm construction this September will disturb the district’s current water supply, sourced mainly from surface water from the river.

“The berm is going to inundate the existing intakes. BC Hydro has to make us whole,” said Mayor Dave Heiberg, noting a groundwater system was discussed more than two years ago.

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The district’s current water licence allows it to draw 500,000 gallons a day, with 200,000 gallons from the river and 100,000 gallons each from three springs.

Western Water drilled two test groundwater wells in 2019, and partnered with Urban Systems to author a report on the upgrades. Both of the 10-inch wells reach 300 feet below the town, and each is capable of supplying the district’s maximum daily demand of 30.9 L/s. 

“The water proved to be pretty good quality, and exactly what we were looking for,” said Heiberg. 

The wells are also designed to work in tandem. “We wanted to go with redundancies, so if we had to repair one or the other, we can switch one off,” Heiberg said.

The next step in the plan is to upgrade the water treatment plant to a nanofiltration system. Heiberg says he’s relying on CAO Chris Cvik and Director of Public Works Mokles Rahman to work out the technical details with contractors.

BC Hydro is paying for the $4.8 million cost of the project.

“The construction of the shoreline protection works required the replacement of the District’s water supply system and through collaborative investigative work with the District, the District’s contractors recommended switching to the groundwater source,” said Site C spokesman Dave Conway.   

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Heiberg says the upgrades are being timed with berm construction, and planned to be ready by October.

“The water treatment plant is supposed to be ready to go and switched over to the well system around that time,” Heiberg said.

Email reporter Tom Summer at [email protected]

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