City council approves more than half a million dollars for Coles Associates
© Guardian photo
Coun. Eddie Rice, chair of Charlottetown's Water and Sewer Utility committee, says the demand on the city's water supply is at 'dangerous' levels.
Coles Associates Ltd. will be handling the engineering work as efforts to develop Charlottetown’s new source of water begin in earnest.
City council has unanimously approved a resolution to pay Coles $530,865 (taxes extra) for consulting engineering services on the Miltonvale water supply project.
The expense will be taken out of the 2013 and 2014 Water and Sewer Utility capital budgets.
“There’s a whole series of things (going on),’’ said Coun. Eddie Rice, chairman of the Water and Sewer Utility committee. “Everything from the road in to the wells themselves to the construction of the maintenance building to the electronic systems that have to be installed.’’
The multimillion-dollar project will be completed in phases as federal and provincial dollars become available.
The city was also hoping to be on the property in Miltonvale in November to finish drilling the five wells at the site. Pumping will be set up so that only three of the wells will be required at any one time to meet the daily demand on the system. The other two wells will be rotated in and out as the city conducts typical maintenance or if problems occur.
Craig Walker, manager of the utility, said that allows for some redundancy to deal with any problems or maintenance that take place going forward.
When water begins to flow from the new wells, the city will have access to a total of 18 wells. It currently draws water from the Winter River-Tracadie Bay Watershed via 13 wells - four at its Brackley location, five at the Union station and four at Suffolk.
Rice said the city would have liked to have started earlier than this.
“It’s a shame we didn’t get started in May but the money was given to us. It’s federal and provincial dollars and when you’re begging (for money) you have to wait for someone else to fill your bowl.’’
Right now, the city is pumping 3,050 imperial gallons of water per minute. Once the new well field comes online, which is expected to take place in 2016, the city will be able to pump 4,100 imperial gallons per minute. That’s more than 18,600 litres per minute.
Walker said the new wells will supply a quarter of the city’s capacity.
The initial round of funding came through from both the federal and provincial governments in September to make this first phase of work possible.
The project will also include a giant water tower, similar to the ones that tower over Stratford and Cornwall, although Charlottetown’s tower is expected to be larger. It’ll have a capacity for two million gallons.