The District of Lillooet has launched the first phase of its response to George Vanderwolf and the Lillooet Watershed Management Committee.
Part 1 of a point-by-point response to Vanderwolf’s May 23 presentation has been posted on the municipal website under a section called Water Information Additional point-by-point responses will be rolled out as municipal staff and consultants prepare them. The municipality had previously the Master Water Plan and the Water System Source Replacement Projects Plan at its www.lillooetbc.ca website.
Vanderwolf and the committee support a gravity-fed water option for Lillooet and say the District did not adequately examine the option of using water from Town and Dickey Creeks as the community water supply. The District has already secured $10 million in grant funding to use water from Seton Lake as the community’s new water source.
The committee said its proposal will not require specialized personnel to run the gravity-fed system. The District’s response is that any surface water system will require a filtration plant. “Town Creek and Dickey Creeks will require a slightly more complicated filtration plant as the turbidity and UVT fluctuations are more difficult to treat,” the District says. UVT is a measurement of the amount of light entering and exiting water. “Seton Lake water has a much more stable water quality, thus a simpler treatment process and therefore lower operator costs. Seton will also require only one filtration plant instead of one each at Town and Dickey Creeks, thus again lower operator costs.”
Vanderwolf also stated May 23 that the District’s proposal would have a limited life span and high replacement costs. The municipality counters that the best available site for a filtration plant for Town Creek water is the District-owned old forestry site on Main Street, which would require pumps to lift water to the one million gallon reservoir. “Similarly with Dickey, the available site for the filtration plant is below the North Lillooet Reservoir and will require pumps.”
The District adds, “Both the proposed Seton system and a system with two treatment plants and two pumping stations will have components that require maintenance and replacement. These costs will be equal between the options.”
The Watershed Committee also criticized the District for making decisions without input from citizens.
The District’s response is that the municipality prepared and presented its Water Capital Plan in 2008 and that report has been available for comment for the past four years.
The Water Conservation Plan was also presented in 2008. “This report remains available for comment,” the District states.
In 2009, the District says fire burned the Town Creek watershed and the municipality was told the watershed would not be suitable as a pristine water source “for 50 years.” The REC Centre Well # 1 also failed that year, prompting council and administration to begin to reassess Lillooet’s options for a long-term water source.
In 2010, the municipality said a report was prepared and presented at a public open house on the District’s options to address the impacts of the forest fire.