Work continues on test well at Black Pines

Photo taken during drilling of Black Pines well. (TNRD photo)

BLACK PINES — Work continues towards bringing a new proposal to Black Pines water users on resolving the water-source question.

After issues arose with the proposed location of a new intake on the North Thompson River, the TNRD turned to ground water as a potential source. A well drilled near the transfer station off Westsyde Road showed promising results.

As a result, the TNRD board approved allocating an additional $100,000 from the Electoral Area P gas tax account to assist with well development and pre-design costs for the Black Pines Community Water System.

The regional district received approval for $896,666 from the Building Canada Fund in 2015 to construct a new intake. The federal and provincial governments provide a third each for BCF infrastructure grants, with the remaining third contributed by local residents who receive the service.

If the groundwater source continues to prove out, this funding could be applied to the well option via a “scope change.”

A total of $140,000 was previously approved for test drilling for groundwater, including site selection, drilling, engineering and preliminary water quality testing. A six-inch diameter test well was drilled to a depth of almost 700 feet, and results showed good water quantity and quality.

As well development and pre-design is a separate phase from pump house construction, distribution system connection and water treatment improvements, the allocation of gas tax funding doesn’t affect the Building Canada Fund grant.

Once this further work confirms the viability of the well as a water source for the system, a plan will be proposed to Black Pines residents, and a new public assent process conducted to find out if they support providing the one-third local contribution needed to access the Building Canada Fund grant.

Kinder Morgan has pledged to contribute $150,000 toward the Black Pines water project if the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is approved.

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