Bamfield residents will soon get the chance to vote on whether to authorize a $600,000 loan to fund a new water treatment plant for Bamfield.
The vote, which occurs on Nov. 5, will ask residents if they wish to “enable the ACRD to borrow $600,000 for the construction of a water treatment plant for the Bamfield water system?”
According to the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District (ACRD), Bamfield needs a water treatment plant to be in compliance with senior government drinking water regulations.
Island Health, who acts as the enforcement body for municipalities and regional districts within its mandate, has indicated that the ACRD has until Jan. 31, 2018, to fall into compliance.
“In November 2013, Island Health issued a water advisory for trihalomethane and haloacetic acids. Since that time, the ACRD board of directors, staff, engineer, consultants and Bamfield water committee have been working to find the most economical and efficient solution to address the water advisory,” an ACRD information bulletin reads.
The water treatment method decided upon is dissolved air flotation (DAF). This method works by introducing air bubbles to the water which attach to particles needing removal. The air bubbles then float to the top and take the particles with them where they can be removed. Water systems in Tofino, Port Hardy and on Saltspring Island use this method.
The method should also improve the taste of Bamfield’s water, according to the ACRD.
The cost of the plant is estimated at $1.5 million—$1 million of that is set aside in the ACRD’s budget and a maximum of $600,000 needs to be borrowed.
An application in 2014 to the Canada Build fund was unsuccessful. If the borrowing bylaw passes, the construction of the plant will be tendered out.
A public information meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 17 at the Bamfield Community School. Island Health representatives, experts from Koers & Associates and ACRD staff will be on site to provide information.
Official voting day is Nov. 5 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the ACRD office at 3008 Fifth Avenue.
Advanced voting will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 26 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Bamfield Fire Hall, 352 Pachena Rd., as well as Tuesday, Nov. 1 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the ACRD office, 3008 Fifth Ave., Port Alberni.
EDITED: The date for general voting in the referendum was incorrect and has been changed to note NOV. 5 is the correct date. Advance voting will take place Wednesday, Oct. 26 and Tuesday, Nov. 1.