Blue Water Park and King Edward Bay Water Restrictions

Aug 23 2019
Updated: Aug 23 2019

Update: August 23, 2019

Please see the following materials from the Public Information meeting held on August 22, 2019 at Cates Hill Chapel.


Update: August 2, 2019

A public information meeting will be held:

Thursday, August 22, 2019
6:00 pm
Cates Hill Chapel
661 Carter Road

Come to learn about and discuss the water systems:

  • Configurations and relationships between the three water systems
  • Results of the recent Bluewater Park and King Edward Bay performance assessment
  • Water usage and historical system performance
  • Next steps

There will be a presentation by BIM staff followed by a question & answer session.

All residents of Bluewater Park, King Edward Bay and Bowen Bay are welcome and encouraged to attend.


Update: July 29, 2019

At a Special Council meeting, Council received reports regarding the history and status of the Bluewater Park and King Edward Bay water systems:


Update: July 26, 2019

Bluewater Park (BWP) and King Edward Bay (KEB) water users are advised that the Stage 4 water restrictions have been lifted.  Stage 1 of the Water Conservation Guidelines should be followed. 

Current status of the wells

  • Repairs on a major leak in the BWP system have been completed
  • Reservoirs in BWP and KEB have returned to an acceptable and stable state
  • The viability of the water systems indicate that stage 4 water restrictions can be lifted
  • Staff will continue to monitor consumption and performance of the BWP system on a weekly basis

Water conservation measures still recommended

Please continue to practice water conservation measures in accordance with Stage 1

Next steps

  • BIM’s Interim Director of Engineering is reporting to Council at a Special Council meeting on Monday, July 29, 2019.
  • Staff are in the process of organizing an information meeting mid-August for Bowen Bay, Bluewater Park and King Edward Bay residents. All residents of these neighbourhoods are welcome and encouraged to attend. Details of the meeting will be circulated as soon as possible.

Please share this information

  • BIM uses an opt-in subscriber service to distribute these updates by e-mail.
  • Please share this information with your neighbours and encourage them to subscribe to receive updates.

Update: July 24, 2019

On Friday of last week a significant watermain leak was found on Windjammer Road near Spy Glass Road.  An emergency repair has stopped the leak, however staff are evaluating the need for additional work at this location to proactively prevent another leak from developing.  Until that is complete, the road will remain with its temporary patch.

This appears to be a significant breakthrough in addressing the supply issues.  Both the KEB and BW reservoirs have recovered nicely and appear stable at this time.  This does not mean that all has been solved, but repairing this one leak is a big step forward. 

We are conducting tests on the Bluewater wells this week to confirm their performance and to assess the state of the aquifer.  This requires the Bluewater wells to be off-line which means they are not able to put water into the system.  Until the tests are complete at the end of this week, water supply is dependent on the KEB system alone.  We are expected to be back to normal operation at the end of the week. 

We are optimistic that no more water will need to be transferred in from the Cove Bay system, and we are also optimistic that water restrictions can be relaxed next week. 

As previously communicated, staff are preparing for a comprehensive report to Council on July 29.  We also appreciate the many questions residents of KEB and BWP have and therefore we are also strategizing for staff to facilitate a community meeting in August.

Update: July 18, 2019

To Bluewater Park and King Edward Bay residents,

Significant effort continues in relation to the water systems investigation this week and through next. 

Water brought in from Cove Bay:

Last week there was a point where the Bluewater Park reservoir became empty and the KEB reservoir dropped down into its fire suppression storage reserve.  A Provincially certified potable water hauler was brought in to transfer 8 tanker trunks of water from the Cove Bay water system into the KEB reservoir.  It is quite likely that this transport of water will be required again until the source of the problem is rectified, particularly at the end of this week in advance of more testing scheduled for Monday July 22.

The water transferred from Cove Bay to BWP and KEB is a comparatively small quantity and supplements the well water.  Although the water from Cove Bay meets Provincial regulations for drinking water, the Provincial Health Officer requires that we notify residents that Cove Bay water is from an open water source (Grafton Lake). The Provincial Health Officer advises people with compromised immune systems (such as HIV, organ or bone transplants, chemotherapy or medications that suppress the immune system) to avoid drinking water from any surface water or ground water that is under the influence of surface water, unless it has been boiled, filtered, distilled or treated with UV.

Be assured, this is not a boil-water advisory for the general public, but rather is directed as a consideration only for persons with compromised immune systems.  If in doubt about your immune system status, please discuss this further with your physician.  If you have any concerns until the water supply issue is resolved, you may elect to buy bottled water for drinking and food preparation that does not involve boiling. 

Monitoring and testing:

Water level monitoring equipment has been installed in the two new wells that were drilled earlier this year.  While these wells are not supplying water into the system, this monitoring will allow us to observe the response of the aquifer when pumping occurs in other wells.

In addition, we have been testing water meters, and have learned that some are not working properly.  Repairs on meters are proceeding on a priority basis. 

Comprehensive testing and inspection of the four existing Bluewater wells will take place July 22nd through July 25th.  This work will sequentially require each well to come off line but will not interrupt service to homes. 

Leaks:

Operations staff continue to search for water leaks in both water systems.  This process requires temporary disruption to water service, generally less than 20 minutes.  Some of you may have noticed this occurrence in recent days.  As a general notice, you may continue to experience some short duration (less than 20 minutes) disruptions over the coming two weeks. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide advance notice of these temporary disruptions.   We appreciate your understanding and patience while this necessary work takes place. We will provide advanced notice for a significant shut down of scheduled repairs or activities.  

Stage 4 Water Restrictions remain in place:

There is a need to continue with stage 4 water restrictions at this time.  The recent rains should have tempered the needs for irrigation, and we continue to encourage the use of rain barrels to capture rainwater for hand watering.  BIM is monitoring residential water meter usage.  We remain aware of ongoing over usage of water, in some cases irrigation and in some cases internal consumption. 

Community involvement:

BIM urges both the BWP and KEB communities to continue respectful use of water, and we encourage neighbourhood awareness.   One local resident has suggested a “buddy system” where neighbours would watch out for each other when one neighbour is away and keep an eye out for leaks and report them to BIM staff.  This could similarly apply to observations of water misuse during the stage 4 restrictions.  Do you have other ideas that could help during this water shortage? Please let us know.

We continue to ask that residents of both communities provide us with alternative contact information. In many cases, we have only mailing addresses. If leaks are identified on a property and we are unable to contact the resident, water will be shut off.

Next steps:

With all these activities, it is expected that we will have a better understanding of the problems and necessary course of action by the end of July.  Staff and consultants will be reporting back to Council at its special Council meeting being held on July 29th with information gathered to-date.

Solving the water shortages in BWP and KEB remains a high priority for BIM.  We appreciate your patience and contributions to help manage the situation.  We will continue to provide weekly updates. 


Update: July 9, 2019

Full Stage 4 water restrictions reinstated

Bluewater Park (BWP) and King Edward Bay (KEB) water users are advised that the full Stage 4 water restrictions must be reinstated.  Cases of excess irrigation have been discovered which has once again led to depletion of the reservoir levels.

Current status of the wells

  • KEB reservoir level has dropped to 70% and is not recovering to the recommended level of 90% or over.
  • BWP reservoir depth has also dropped below an acceptable level.
  • Pumps have been running continuously.
  • Wells and reservoir levels continue to be checked every day. 
  • Now that one significant source of depletion has been discovered, we will monitor the recovery of the reservoirs in the coming days.
  • Engineers are also developing a comprehensive strategy to identify other leaks in both the BWP and KEB systems. 

Well testing scheduled - we need your help

  • Contractors will be on site the week of July 15th to test the BW wells.
  • Reservoirs need to be near full for the testing.
  • We need your help by limiting water use as much as possible through to July 18 to allow those tests to proceed.

Full stage 4 water restrictions reinstated

  • Please do not:
    • Water lawns or gardens.
    • Use garden hoses, irrigation systems, sprinklers or hand watering cans.
    • Fill pools, hot tubs or fountains.
    • Wash driveways, sidewalks, vehicles, boats or other equipment.
    • Use power washers.
  • Please do:
    • Purchase rain barrels to collect rainfall for watering.

Help us contact you quickly if we discover a leak

  • BIM is currently dealing with leaks at some properties in the water systems. We make every effort to contact the property owners, however in many cases we only have mailing addresses. 
  • Please provide your contact information so that we can contact you by phone or e-mail if we discover high water usage on your water meter.
  • If BIM identifies a leak, every effort will be taken to contact the property owner. If the property owner cannot be contacted, water will be turned off at the property.

Next steps

  • System testing and leak exploration will occur over the next 3 weeks. 
  • BIM’s consultants, Urban Systems are preparing an interim report to Council to present at a Special Council meeting on July 29, 2019.
  • Once the report has been presented to Council, staff and the consultants will hold a public information meeting in early August. All residents of Bluewater Park and King Edward Bay are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Please share this information

  • BIM uses an opt-in subscriber service to distribute these updates by e-mail.
  • Please share this information with your neighbours and encourage them to subscribe to receive updates.

Update: July 3, 2019

Modified Stage 4 water restrictions

Bluewater Park (BWP) and King Edward Bay (KEB) water users will be allowed to hand water flower and vegetable gardens for a trial period of modified Stage 4 water restrictions. If wells cannot keep up with the demand, the modification will be removed and hand watering will be prohibited again.

Current status of the wells

  • Wells and reservoir levels are being checked every day.
  • KEB reservoir is 90% full, but has not returned to its peak 94% in June.
  • BWP reservoir has a water depth of 1 foot and appears stable, but could drop quickly with overuse.
  • The wells appear to be keeping up with the current demand, however the BWP wells are still not pulling what they should be, the reasons of which are still being investigated.  We will notify the communities as soon as the field testing and inspection of these wells is scheduled.

Modified stage 4 water restrictions

NEW MODIFICATIONS:

  • "Hand watering" is watering plants, trees, flower and vegetable gardens with a hand-held watering can.
  • Hand watering is permitted as follows:
    • Odd numbered houses can hand water gardens on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
    • Even numbered houses can hand water gardens on Wednesdays and Fridays.
    • Hand watering is not permitted on weekends; if watering must be done on the weekend, purchase rain barrels to fill (only as much as is needed) on the permitted day and store until the weekend.
  • Tips for effective hand watering:
    • Purchase rain barrels and use any collected rainwater first.
    • Water only what needs it.
    • Water early in the morning or in the evening to prevent evaporation.
  • Modified stage 4 is on a trial basis - if the reservoirs drop significantly and do not appear to recover, hand watering will be prohibited again.

ALL OTHER STAGE 4 RESTRICTIONS REMAIN IN PLACE 

  • Please do not:
    • Water lawns.
    • Use garden hoses, irrigation systems, or sprinklers.
    • Fill pools, hot tubs or fountains.
    • Wash driveways, sidewalks, vehicles, boats or other equipment.
    • Use power washers.

Help us contact you quickly if we discover a leak

  • BIM is currently dealing with leaks at some properties in the water systems. We make every effort to contact the property owners, however in many cases we only have mailing addresses.
  • Please provide your contact information so that we can contact you by phone or e-mail if we discover high water usage on your water meter.
  • If BIM identifies a leak, every effort will be taken to contact the property owner. If the property owner cannot be contacted, water will be turned off at the property.

Next steps

  • BIM’s consultants, Urban Systems are preparing an interim report to Council to present at a meeting in July (exact date to be determined).
  • Once the report has been presented to Council, staff and the consultants will hold a public information meeting in early August. All residents of Bluewater Park and King Edward Bay are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Please share this information

  • BIM uses an opt-in subscriber service to distribute these updates by e-mail.
  • Please share this information with your neighbours and encourage them to subscribe to receive updates.

Update: June 27, 2019

At its meeting on Monday, June 24, Council received an update on the water situation in Bluewater Park and King Edward Bay water systems. Bluewater’s reservoir is still at the same low level, but King Edward Bay’s is almost full. King Edward Bay production should be able to sustain both water systems as long as consumption stays at the current level. Engineers have developed a work plan to identify options for increasing well productivity. Meanwhile, water restrictions will continue. Council directed staff to look into a modified restriction level that may allow for hand watering in gardens.

Staff met with consultants on June 26, who strongly advise that water restrictions remain at Stage 4 for at least one more week. The situation will be reviewed in one week and residents will be informed if a modified water restriction level will be implemented.

Read the Staff Report to Council dated June 24, 2019


Update: June 12, 2019

Two new wells have been drilled in the Bluewater Park area. Before additional water from these wells can be used to supply the reservoir, a certified pump installation company needs to install pumps and wiring. Only then will it be known how much additional water can be supplied through these new wells. As a next step, water samples need to be taken and sent to an environmental laboratory for water quality testing. Once the results have been received together with the schematics and well logs, Vancouver Coastal Health, if satisfied with the results, will issue a Permit to Operate. The wells can then be connected to the Bluewater Park water system, and the water restrictions may be lifted.

Bowen Island Municipality has contracted a professional engineer to provide overall management of the Bluewater Park and King Edward Bay water systems during the current water shortage, and to undertake a review of the systems to develop a sustainable long term plan. A community meeting will be held once the engineer has reported back to Council.

Read the Staff Report to Council dated June 10, 2019


Stage 4 Water Conservation Guidelines in effect

Bluewater Park Water System is currently experiencing a reduction in capacity to the existing wells that support the Water System. This is resulting in diminished water supply during a time that is already experiencing earlier and drier weather conditions. As King Edward Bay wells are supplementing the shortage, Bowen Island Municipality is continuing water restrictions for Bluewater Park and King Edward Bay Water Systems. Stage 4 of the Water Conservation Guidelines should be followed.

Please do not:

  • Water lawns or gardens.
  • Use garden hoses, irrigation systems, sprinklers or hand watering with watering cans.
  • Fill pools, hot tubs or fountains.
  • Wash driveways, sidewalks, vehicles, boats or other equipment.
  • Use power washers.

You can conserve water by:

  • Shortening your shower by 2 minutes can save 40 litres of water.
  • Turning off taps when brushing your teeth can save 10 litres of water.
  • Cutting down on flushing your toilet. Every time you flush you use up to 14 liters of water.
  • Mulching around trees and shrubs to retain water in the soil.
  • Adding compost to the soil in your garden to maintain soil moisture.
  • Keeping a jug or pitcher of drinking water in the fridge to avoid running the tap until it gets cold.

How to get updates:

When more information becomes available, we will post updates on the ALERTS page. You can also SUBSCRIBE to receive water notices by e-mail.

Questions?

Please contact Public Works at 604-947-0613 or bim@bimbc.ca.