Fraser Health backs Metro water for White Rock

Fraser Health wants White Rock to get its water from Metro Vancouver.

Fraser Health wants White Rock to get its water from Metro Vancouver.

In a letter sent to city manager Dan Bottrill last month, medical health officer Lisa Mu states the health authority “supports the reduction of arsenic in White Rock’s water supply to levels that are as low as reasonably achievable.”

“Accordingly, we are in favour of the connection of the White Rock distribution system to MetroVan water, if this is determined to be technically and financially viable,” Mu writes.

Asked for comment, Epcor spokesman Tim Le Riche said by email Monday afternoon that the utility’s position on its water supply has not changed.

“It is business as usual for us,” Le Riche writes. “We are pleased to provide safe drinking water to the people of White Rock, and we support stakeholder involvement, including suggestions for any cost-effective solutions for its customers.”

White Rock officials announced in late February a decision to explore the feasibility of purchasing its water utility from the current supplier, Edmonton-based Epcor. The move came two months after Epcor advised its customers it is seeking approval for a project that will increase chlorination of the city’s water, upgrade infrastructure and boost storage and pumping capacity.

The chlorination was ordered by Fraser Health in response to contamination that sparked a boil-water advisory in 2010.

The proposed upgrades are anticipated to cost $11-12 million. While arsenic levels in the water supply are currently within the standards for Canadian drinking water, if that changes and treatment for it is deemed necessary, the tab will jump by an estimated $8-10 million.

Coun. Helen Fathers – who proposed in January that White Rock investigate the costs of hooking up to the Metro system – said Monday that if upgrades must be done, it makes more sense that it be an investment in a city-owned utility.

Coun. Larry Robinson – who did not support Father’s initial motion – agreed.

Robinson told Peace Arch News that  learning more about the difference between water from the two sources convinced him a switch to Metro is the way to go. It will avoid the need for chlorination and arsenic treatment, ultimately bringing citizens the best possible end product, he said.

While the financial cost will be high, quality is what matters, Robinson said.

“Quite frankly, White Rock, I think, we’re stuck between a rock and a hard place.

“It’s going to be a big number… (but) water’s water. It’s fundamental.”

Council is to review the business case in a closed meeting Monday.

 

Just Posted

Students spend night at White Rock shelter

Students hear powerful stories about homelessness on the Semiahmoo Peninsula

VIDEO: Collision in Surrey breaks axle off SUV

Two people were reportedly sent to hospital

PHOTOS: Snoozing seal pup captures attention at White Rock Pier

Dozens of seals spent the day at White Rock’s iconic structure

A look at White Rock’s next council agenda

Following a public hearing, council will hear annual reports from a number of its committees

‘Meet Your Muslim Neighbour’ event bridges gap on Semiahmoo Peninsula, association says

Event serves as an educational space for residents in South Surrey-White Rock

Teen with cancer whose viral video urged Canadians to vote has died, uncle tweets

Maddison Yetman had been looking forward to voting in her first federal election since junior high school

Security camera records hatchet attack on Langley store owner

Target escaped uninjured, but was ‘upset’ by incident

Rowing Canada, UVic investigate celebrated coach for harassment, abuse

Lily Copeland says she felt intimidated and trapped by Williams

Cleanup in the works after tanker truck fire leads to oil spill in B.C.’s Peace region

The province said the majority of the spilled oil likely burned away in the fire.

BC VIEWS: Action needed on healthcare workplace violence

While we’ve been talking about it, the number of B.C. victims has only grown

VIDEO: Vancouver Giants blank Cougars 4-0

Goaltender David Tendeck turned aside all 38 Prince George shots for his WHL-leading third shutout

Closing arguments begin in B.C. case launched in 2009 over private health care

Dr. Day said he illegally opened the Cambie Surgery Centre in 1996 in order to create more operating-room time

MacLean says “Coach’s Corner is no more” following Cherry’s dismissal from Hockey Night

Cherry had singled out new immigrants in for not honouring Canada’s veterans and fallen soldiers

Most Read

l -->