In 2014 the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority (VCHA) advised Bowen Island Municipality that the current system of chlorination of Cove Bay water is inadequate to address the issue of contamination. The Cove Bay system is supplied water from an unprotected watershed and is required to upgrade the water treatment process. Using a multi stepped treatment process, the new water treatment plant will address issues required by VCH, as well as other enhancements to provide the community with high quality water. It will:
- Remove small particles of organic matter and minerals (turbidity), which is the current cause of discolouration and a contributor to the health risk
- Remove microscopic viruses and parasites
- Adjust the pH level of the water
- Remove manganese, which is a naturally occurring element
- And, as required today, kill any coliforms and E.coli
The Cove Bay water treatment plant will result in clean, clear and safe drinking water for over 600 properties connected to the Cove Bay Water System.
November 15, 2023
Efforts to put the water treatment plant into operation with just one of the two filter modules were not successful due to failures of ceramic filter tubes occurring in both modules.
It has been determined that the problems with the ceramic tubes could be related to manufacturing defects and/or the water hammer that occurred earlier in the plant commissioning process that has since been corrected. The water hammer issue was a result of the overall plant design, and not the treatment technology provided.
Purifics has agreed to replace all the ceramic tubes under warranty. Enough replacement ceramic tubes to put one module into operation are expected to arrive on site in the first week of December, at which point they will be installed. The plant can then be put into service by the end of the year.
We are still awaiting confirmation on the timeframe for receipt of the remainder of the ceramic tubes needed to get the second module into operation.
September 20, 2023
BIM staff have continued rigorous testing of the Cove Bay Water Treatment Plant as part of the commissioning process over the summer.
Staff encountered high turbidity readings and determined that these readings were not the result of instrumentation, but that both filter modules are not working as expected. It was determined that there are manufacturing defects with several of the ceramic tubes that make up the two filter modules. Purifics will be replacing all the ceramic tubes in both filter modules under warranty, and they expect that it will take two to three months to complete.
In the meantime, staff will continue to seek a solution that allows the water treatment plant to be put into service sooner, with one filter module only, without compromising the drinking water quality standard required by Vancouver Coastal Health and island residents.
June 16, 2023
Commissioning of the new Water Treatment Plant is underway. The filtration system and related components are all operating as intended. We have identified an issue with the integrated dewatering system (DeWRS). The equipment has been returned to the supplier for repairs. This system is not integral to the treatment process itself and an approach has been worked out to put the plant into service without the DeWRS. Commissioning should be completed by the end of June, and the plant functional at that time.
March 16, 2023
Following the installation of break head tank and pumps, the additional retrofit work identified by Purifics (filtration equipment vendor) has been completed and will need to be inspected and approved by the design engineers. Once the retrofit work has been approved, we can move into the final phase: Recommissioning.
Recommissioning provides an opportunity to check and confirm all equipment before and during the start-up of the WTP before the water is distributed.
The intent of re-commissioning is to
- test the operation, control and capacity of the newly installed filtrate boost pumps system
- confirm level control of the tank
- confirm chlorination of the filtered water to the reservoir
- confirm all components of filtration, rinse, flushing and discharge are operational
- confirm performance of filtration run-time, water quality, alarms, back-up systems and other operations
Commissioning is considered complete when:
- water passes all potability analysis and testing
- WTP produces potable water and operates stably for five days
- Cove Bay water supply is switched from Grafton Lake to treated water reservoir (requires approval from VCH)
If commissioning goes as planned, we’re expecting to be operational by April/May 2023.
January 17, 2023
The retrofit work identified in the Oct 17, 2022 update has been completed. Additional retrofit requirements were subsequently identified by Purifics, and this work is underway. Purifics will then complete on-site repairs and re-commission the treatment system. Vancouver Coastal Health testing requirements and final inspection will then be completed prior to putting the plant into service. If all goes as expected the system should be online by March 2023.
October 17, 2022
There are three areas of work that need to be completed before the Cove Bay Water Treatment Plant can be put into service.
Contractors are making progress on retrofit mechanical work including the installation of a break head tank, pumps and piping and are expected to finish by the end of October.
BIM is expecting delivery of electrical components by the end of November, and the electrical installation is expected to be completed in December.
Once the mechanical and electrical work is complete, Purifics will perform on-site repairs to the broken filter, and then re-commission the system bringing it online in early 2023.
Vancouver Coastal Health will be on site for a final inspection of the plant and to review the results of water testing before drinking water is distributed to homes and businesses in Cove Bay Water System.
July 11, 2022
The Director of Engineering presented Council with a staff report seeking approval to proceed with engaging design consultants and contractor to undertake the necessary retrofit work that is needed to complete and commission the Cove Bay Water Treatment Plant into operation.
Council authorized staff to contract Industra Construction for the necessary retrofit work that is needed to complete and commission the Cove Bay Water Treatment Plant, at a cost of $2,436.85 for the design and $191,645.54 for construction. The Cove Bay water capital budget will be amended to accommodate these expenditures.
May 26, 2022
Agreement between the design engineers and treatment equipment supplier has not yet been achieved regarding some key details for the required retrofit to the Cove Bay Water Treatment Plant. BIM has engaged a third party consultant who is working with all of the parties involved to resolve the impasse.
April 14, 2022
Staff are continuing to work with the engineering consultants and equipment supplier to get the remaining issues with the Water Treatment Plant resolved. The process design solution has been confirmed (adding a break head tank on the filter discharge), design details are currently being finalized, and quotes are being obtained for the required labour and materials. The replacement for the failed immersion heater is expected to arrive soon. The schedule for the equipment supplier to come to site and repair the failed filter module will be coordinated with the break head tank retrofit. An estimated time frame for getting the plant into service will be provided as soon as possible.
March 30, 2022
Unfortunately, the water treatment plant could not yet be put into operation due to repeated failures of key equipment from the supplier (ceramic filter tubes and immersion heater). A new heater was ordered from a different supplier in January and should be available soon. In the process of dealing with these ongoing problems, an issue with the process design was discovered and staff together with the engineering consultants are working hard on resolving this as fast as possible. This is now the critical path item to getting the plant up and running. We understand how frustrating this situation is for the Cove Bay Water Users and will provide an updated timeline as soon as we have more detailed information. In the meantime, thank you for your patience.
November 4, 2021
In May, commissioning of the plant was paused due to equipment malfunctioning during testing. Later during the summer, several parts of the core filtration equipment had failed before the plant was fully up and running and needed to be shipped back to the manufacturer. BIM is working hard to resolve the equipment problems and continue with the commissioning of the plant as soon as possible. Staff confirm that warranties on equipment and backup plans for water treatment are in place if needed.
August 20, 2021
Due to some equipment-related issues that were discovered during the commissioning process, the project management team are still working on resolving issues with the Cove Bay Water Treatment Plant.
We apologize for the delay, and thank you for your patience while we ensure the brand new treatment plant is fully comissioned and meeting all specifications for operation.
June 1, 2021
Commissioning of the Cove Bay Water Treatment Plant is still underway. While it was anticipated that distribution of water to the Cove Bay water sytem would begin on May 20-21, the activation date has been postponed until further notice. Updates will be posted here when they become available.
May 17, 2021
The Cove Bay Water Treatment Plant activation is postponed until approximately MAY 20-21 due to minor software issues involving preliminary programming of the system.
May 13, 2021
The Cove Bay Water Treatment Plant will be activated on Monday, May 17. Water service to Cove Bay users will change over to the new filtration treatment system, effective immediately.
No action is required on the part of properties/connections within the Cove Bay Water System. While everything is being done to ensure no disruption of service will occur, it is possible that as the new system comes online, there may be some performance adjustments required to address possible changes in pressure and other performance metrics.
There are no anticipated impacts to properties which have a point of use or point of entry treatment system. Properties with existing treatment systems may choose to continue to maintain those systems or discontinue use.
A celebratory grand opening of the new treatment plant will be held later in the summer when it is known whether COVID-19 restrictions can be eased.
May 6, 2021
The detailed design for the Cove Bay Water Treatment Plant was completed in 2019 followed by tendering and negotiation with the low bidder in early 2020. Construction of the treatment plant started in April 2020 and will continue until May 2021. Commissioning is scheduled for May 10 – 21, 2021. Final completion and handover to Bowen Island Municipality is anticipated by the end of May 2021.
March 25, 2020
The Cove Bay Water Treatment Plant project tender was awarded to Industra in February 2020, and preliminary construction work began on March 25, 2020. The site is located near Grafton Lake off of Grafton Road.
Initial construction activities include installation of sediment and erosion control measures and preliminary earthworks.
COVID-19 precautions: Industra, the contractor managing the project, will make arrangements for the contractor’s and sub-contractor’s staff to reside on the island for the duration of their involvement in the project. Industra will provide a safe work environment for all and has instructed its crews to follow the government protocols to maintain social distancing. Crews are also asked to limit any visitation to Bowen’s essential service stores to the minimum required.
Questions? Please contact Public Works at 604-947-4255.
EXTENDED: Calling local trades. Are you interested in working on the Cove Bay Water Treatment Plant project?
Bowen Island Municipality has issued an Invitation to Tender for construction of the Cove Bay Water Treatment Plant. If you are a sub-trade operating on Bowen Island, and are interested in working on the Water Treatment Plant project, you can submit your information to be included in a list of local sub-trades that will be provided to the successful bidder.
Please note, submitting your information for this list does not guarantee that you will be contracted to work on the project. The general contractor who is successful in the tendering bid will have full discretion over the hiring of sub-trades.
Please submit your information by Tuesday, January 21, 2020 at 2:00 pm.
- E-mail Rachel Pryce-Jones, Public Works Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Fax 604-947-0193 (Attn: Public Works)
November 19, 2019: Tendering documents issued
October 28, 2019: Alternative Approval Process Results
Council received the results of the Alternative Approval Process (AAP) for Bylaw 488, 2019. During the 32 day submission period, a total of seven Elector Response Forms were received. Elector approval was obtained through the AAP as fewer than 10% of eligible electors objected to the Bylaw. Council adopted the Bylaw, and approved staff to proceed with the process for borrowing $2,533,000 to build the Water Treatment Plant.
September 10, 2019
Bowen Island Municipality received approval of the Inspector of Municipalities for Bylaw 488, 2019.
At its regular meeting on September 9, 2019, Council approved the following for the Alternative Approval Process (AAP):
- The Elector Response Form;
- The estimated number of electors in the area defined for the AAP is 1,190;
- The deadline for receiving Elector Response Forms is 4:30 PM on Monday, October 21, 2019.
- Read the staff report
July 8, 2019
Council gave three readings to Loan Authorization Bylaw No.488, 2019. Adoption of the bylaw would allow long term borrowing of up to $2,533,000 to be used for the construction of the Water Treatment Plant. The bylaw will require elector approval by means of an Alternative Approval Process (AAP).
June 24, 2019
Council received an update on the Cove Bay Water Treatment Plant. The Municipality will take ownership of the land when the subdivision – part of the Grafton Lake Lands development – is completed. The next step is to borrow the funds required for the Municipal portion of construction costs. Council directed staff to bring forward a loan authorization bylaw to the July 8th Council meeting, and to undertake an alternative approval process.
May 13, 2019
Council received a staff report from the Public Works Manager with an update on the Cove Bay Water Treatment Plant project.
December 10, 2018
At a Committee of the Whole meeting held on December 10, 2018, the Manager of Public Works presented a project briefing and a PowerPoint Presentation providing an update on the Cove Bay Water Treatment Plant including the history, work-to-date and planned next steps.
The project was set in motion in 2017 when Bowen Island Municipality received a $3,890,367 grant from the joint Federal/Provincial Building Canada Fund – Small Communities Component. The grant represents a 2/3 share of the cost of the full-scale water treatment plant.
The pilot project was operational until the end of November 2017, during which time water samples treated with the ceramic ultra-filtration membrane process were analyzed, and municipal staff trained on the operation and maintenance of the system. The ceramic ultra-filtration membrane process – a technology developed in Canada – filters out bacteria, pathogens and organic matter in the water. This means less chlorine is required to be added to the water in order to meet Vancouver Coastal Health Authority’s Drinking Water Treatment Objective.