- Community Information Meetings
- About the project
- September 20, 2023 Update
- May 26, 2023 Update
- March 13, 2023 Update
- Subscribe for online updates
- Proposed Project
- Westside Water Systems
- Case for Infrastructure Replacement
- Recommended Improvements
- Project Financing
- Loan Authorization Bylaw
Community Information Meetings
Wednesday, December 6, 2023 at 6:00 pm on Zoom
Meeting ID 894 3600 6999
About the project
BIM is borrowing up to $3,100,000 from the Municipal Finance Authority with a 30 year maximum repayment term to fund work needed to ensure delivery of clean, safe drinking drinking water to Bluewater Park residents. If your property is within the local service area (outlined in blue on the map), you will be subject to a Parcel Tax of approximately $1,187.00 per year, for the next 30 years. This will be on your annual Property Tax Statement starting 2023. Read the Loan Authorization Bylaw adopted by Council on June 12, 2023.
September 20, 2023 Update
A Community Information Meeting was held on September 16, 2023, to provide a quarterly update to Bluewater Park Water System residents. Read the agenda.
Water Supply Upgrades
- Design and tender documents are complete for Bowen Bay well upgrades and system interconnection The pre-tender construction estimate is $650,000 and there is a possibility that this could be tendered and constructed before summer 2024.
- For now, tendering is on hold pending review of a recently discovered alternate supply option. A high productivity well has been discovered on a large 50 acre privately owned property. The capacity of this well is in excess of the combined upgraded capacity of the existing wells. Pumping tests are planned for October, 2023.
- The decision of whether to continue with the existing well upgrades or continue with exploring the new option is under discussion and awaiting results of pumping tests, amongst other considerations.
- The development of the new well would require a connection to the KEB reservoir tank including a fill line and distribution main.
- The timing is uncertain for the new well solution as it relates to the planned subdivision process of the property. The new solution would not be in place until 2025.
- The advantages of deferring the Bowen Bay well upgrades includes a cost saving for residents and it means the additional water for BWP supply would be provided within BWP.
- The advantages of proceeding with Bowen Bay well upgrades are that the water supply deficiency would be addressed within a year, however, having both the well upgrades and the new well means additional water resiliency for the west side water users.
Water Main Replacements
- Design for water mains and culverts is underway.
- Tender documents for Phase 1 Water Mains will be available by end October 2023.
- Tendering Phase 1: November – December 2023
- Construction to take place January to June 2024. This will include construction of Phase 1 water mains and decommissioning of 50 mm main on Captain’s Way.
- Tender Documents for Phase 2 and 3 are expected to be available by end of 2023
- May consider a single tender for the construction of both phases in July-October 2024 or they could be phased over 2024/2025 as previously planned
- No additional well exploration is expected
May 26, 2023 Update
The Municipal Finance Authority (MFA) has given BIM approval to borrow up to $3,100,000 for Bluewater Park water system improvements.
Municipalities must receive provincial approval for long-term borrowing, so this is a significant step for the project.
BIM Bluewater Park Loan Authorization Bylaw No 595, 2022 will be brought to council on June 12, 2023 Regular Council Meeting for final consideration and adoption.
Planning, design and tender document preparation is underway for the well upgrades and system interconnection. Design for the water mains is expected to get underway in early June. A Request for Proposals (RFP) for water main design services has been posted and closes June 1st. Tendering for the well upgrades and system interconnection is expected to occur in June / July, with construction starting in July / August. Tendering for the first phase of water main replacements is expected to be in September / October with construction proceeding in October / November.
A community information meeting is being planned in the next month to provide more details, keep residents updated and to answer questions and address concerns. More details soon.
March 13, 2023 Update
On January 5, 2023, BIM gave Notice of Intention to borrow up to $3,100,000.00 for Bluewater Park water system improvements unless 50% of Bluewater Park property owners objected by petitioning against the borrowing.
Results of the Petition Against
A total of 29 of the 153 parcels (19%) petitioned against the service by submitting response forms by February 6, 2023. This represented $33,268,100 (17%) of the assessed value in the local service area.
As the threshold was not surpassed, the local area service on Council initiative, subject to petition
against, is certified as sufficient and valid.
Council Direction from the February 27, 2023 Council Meeting
At the February 27, 2023 Council Meeting, Council took action as follows:
- Received the certified results of the petition against
- Directed staff to refer the Loan Authorization Bylaw to the Inspector for Municipalities for approval
- Approved project next steps and well exploration
- Directed staff to evaluate performance improvement up to November 2024, and report back to Council
- Directed staff to provide quarterly updates to the community
If the Loan Authorization Bylaw is adopted, borrowing can be confirmed as early as May/June 2023.
BIM will be able to proceed with design and construction starting June/July 2023.
Next Steps – Well Upgrades and Water System Interconnection
- Plan and design of well upgrades and system interconnection is underway by Urban Systems Ltd
- Design and preparation of tender documents expected to exceed $50,000 from BWP reserves. Additional funds to come available once loan is secured in May/June 2023.
- Completion of design and procurement of owner supplied materials expected June-August 2023
- RFP August-September 2023
- Construction October 2023-February 2024
- Performance evaluation of wells and systems start July-August 2024
Next Steps – Water Main and Culvert replacements
In conjunction with the Phase 1 water main replacements, eight culverts will be replaced. The budget for the culvert replacement will come from Municipal Capital Renewal and Replacement Reserves. While 69 % of the water mains of Phase 1 could be replaced in 2023, the remaining 31 %, mostly on Spyglass, will be deferred until summer 2024. Summers are the best time for this work as the creeks are at lowest flow. Based on the outcome of the upgraded wells and interconnected system performance, Phase 2 water main replacements could be completed in summer 2025.
Next Steps – New Well Exploration
- Determine best locations
- Drill test well(s)
- Complete well upgrades and system interconnection – spring 2024
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BIM proposes to spend $3,100,000.00 to upgrade Bluewater Park (BWP) water infrastructure to meet BWP demand. How will the money be spent?
- Approximately $700,000.00 is earmarked to upgrade wells and connect Bowen Bay wells to the King Edward Bay reservoir.
- Approximately $2,400,000.00 is to replace old undersized mains in the distribution system. The current mains are inadequate to provide sufficient flow for fire fighting capability.
Phase 1, expected to start June/July 2023 includes replacing the water mains with the highest risk of failure.
Water main replacement costs: $980,000.00
Well upgrades: $600,000.00
- Replace about 410 m of 50-100 mm diameter mains along Windjammer with new 200 mm diameter mains, including service and hydrant connections ($440,000.00)
- Replace about 395 m of old 50-100 mm diameter mains on Captain’s Way and Spyglass with new 150mm diameter mains, including the replacement of service connections and hydrant connections ($390,000.00)
- Install new service connections for about 20 properties along Captain’s Way and upgrade their mains from 50 mm to 150 mm diameter ($50,000.00)
- Install a dedicated fill line for a future BWP reservoir ($100,000.00)
- Upgrade Bowen Bay (BB) wells #1, #2 and #3 to increase capacity, including well pumps, mechanical electrical and communications/controls ($260,000.00)
- Install higher power pumps to achieve higher flow potential to pump up to King Edward Bay (KEB) reservoir
- Construct new fill lines from BB wells to KEB chlorination shed, tie in to existing fill line and new pressure reducing valve ($340,000.00)
Water main replacement cost: $1,380,000.00
Well upgrades: $90,000.00
- Replace about 530 m of old 100 mm diameter mains along Windjammer with new 200 mm mains, including replacement of service connections and hydrant connections ($570,000.00)
- Install fill line for BWP reservoir in common trench with new Windjammer water mains ($130,000.00)
- Replace about 690 m of old 50-100 mm diameter mains with 150 mm diameter mains including the replacement of service connections and hydrant connections ($680,000.00)
- Upgrade BWP well #3 to increase capacity ($75,000.00)
- Develop well head protection plans as required by Vancouver Coastal Health ($15,000.00)
Reference Documents: 221026 BWP Community Information Meeting Staff Presentation
Westside Water Systems
The Bluewater Park (BWP) water system services 147 connections in the Bluewater Park neighbourhood on the west side of the island. The neighbouring water systems, King Edward Bay (KEB) and Bowen Bay (BB), service 41 and 60 connections respectively. All three systems are connected in ways explained below, but they are separate local service areas funded by their own user fees and reserve funds.
Water for the BWP system is supplied from four drilled groundwater wells and stored in an 82 cubic metre metal storage tank. The wells do not supply enough water to adequately meet the needs of BWP residents. In addition, the pipes are old, were poorly installed and are prone to leaks. To augment the supply of water to BWP residents, a connection between the BWP and the KEB systems was built, and water is now supplied year-round from the KEB wells.
Case for Infrastructure Replacement
The BWP system was constructed prior to 1970, and has been operated by Bowen Island Municipality since 2004. Based on what we’ve uncovered in the past few years, we can determine that much of the distribution system was not built to any construction standard. The pipes appear to have been laid haphazardly on top of sharp pointy rocks and then buried with whatever surrounding material was available including gravel, logs and soil. Over time, these pipes have degraded, and sharp rocks have gouged holes in them. They have suffered significant corrosion in places, and they leak.
This is a leak that appeared in the water main in the Bluewater Park water system in July 2022.
Each year, these leaks result in a significant amount of water loss, and as a result, both the BWP wells and the KEB wells have to work overtime in order to compensate for the significant amount of water loss due to leakage. More water is drawn than is necessary to supply the needs of the residents. This excess use is a problem because the wells do not have adequate opportunity for recharge. There is concern that over time, the stress on the wells from excess use combined with the impacts of climate change could permanently decrease the wells’ production capacity. These stressors also negatively impact the health of the aquifers that provide water to the area.
The KEB Water System was designed to serve the needs of the King Edward Bay residents, and as this neighborhood is increasingly built out, there is an inadequate supply to meet the demands of both KEB and BWP users. All BWP water sourced from KEB wells is metered, and a transfer is made annually from the BWP reserve fund to the KEB reserve fund to compensate the KEB system for the water supplied to BWP. This water loss due to leakage creates negative impacts to BWP users, both from a long-term sustainable water supply perspective, and from a financial perspective.
As confirmed by an aquifer study conducted in 2020, if the wells in BWP, KEB and BB systems were optimized, the amount of water that could sustainably be produced would meet the needs of the residents of all three systems, now and into the future when the full build out of KEB and BWP occurs. This solution assumes the problem with water leakage in BWP is eliminated through replacement of the watermains. On their own, both the KEB system and the BB system can reliably meet the current and future demands of their respective residents. The well optimization project therefore primarily benefits the residents of BWP, by securing access to a sufficient, reliable supply of fresh drinking water.
The phases of the proposed Bluewater Park Water System Replacement Project have been discussed with the Bluewater Park Local Advisory Committee and presented at a community meeting. The elements of the project include:
- Replacement of the BWP watermains preventing future water loss due to leakage
- Optimization of the wells in BWP, KEB and BB to increase sustainable water production, and construction of a fill line from Bowen Bay wells to the King Edward Bay reservoir tank to increase available supply
- Construction of a new reservoir tank in BWP to increase storage and fire suppression capacity.
The phases and respective cost estimates are explained in a staff report presented to Council on November 28, 2022.
The cost estimates above would need to be financed through long-term debt. The Municipality monitors relevant grant programs and will make an application in support of this project should an appropriate opportunity become available. In absence of any grant funding however, the project will need to move forward funded by debt.
Project costs above have been increased from cost estimates presented at previous meetings to better reflect current cost estimates to undertake the various phases of the project. Project scope may vary.
The phases and respective cost estimates are explained in a staff report presented to Council on November 28, 2022.
Costs of borrowing are presented in the table below:
Annual cost of $1,000,000 of debt (30 year amortization)
|Total annual principal and interest per $1 m of debt||$41,019||$61,019||$81,019|
|*Current long term debt interest rates are 4%|
Borrowing these funds will require approval of property owners within the Bluewater Park water system.
Loan Authorization Bylaw
At the November 28, 2022 Regular Council meeting, staff presented the approach to address the urgent water infrastructure issues, including the Loan Authorization Bylaw 595, 2022. Council referred the matter to a Committed of the Whole meeting with the chairs of the Local Advisory Committees for Bowen Bay, King Edward Bay and Bluewater Park, and to report back at the December 12, 2022 Regular Council meeting with a recommendation.
Council adopted BIM Loan Authorization Bylaw No. 595, 2022 which authorizes the borrowing of up to $3.1 million in capital funds to enable sourcing and supplying of additional water for Bluewater Park, at the Regular Council Meeting on June 12, 2023.