BC’s Lund set for overhaul of district water system with $11M grant

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Lund Harbour Powell River
The McElhanney Limited assessment recommended direct nanofiltration membranes, or dNF, as the preferred water treatment technology for the Village of Lund (pictured). Photo Credit: Shaund at wts wikivoyage, CC BY-SA 4.0 (Wikimedia Commons)

Following a Vancouver Coastal Health directive to improve its water quality, the qathet Regional District has received an $11-million grant to reform the main components of the Lund Waterworks District system in British Columbia. 

The current Lund Waterworks District system does not supply water that meets Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines, said local officials, who applied for the upgrades through the Green Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program in early 2022. 

The water system has approximately 109 users in Lund, which is 128 kilometres north of Vancouver. “Previous assessments show a fairly consistent water source from the lake, which does have elevated organic carbon levels in it, and leads to the problem of disinfection byproducts when chlorine is used for disinfection,” according to a 2022 assessment by McElhanney Ltd. that was commissioned by the region.  

The McElhanney assessment noted that trihalomethanes, or THMs, have been tested in the system and routinely exceed Canadian Drinking Water Quality Guidelines of 0.1 mg/l. District water treatment consists solely of disinfection by injection of sodium hypochlorite. 

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Phase 1 improvements to the water system propose an increased capacity to 700m3 per day. 

The McElhanney assessment recommended direct nanofiltration membranes, or dNF, as the preferred water treatment technology.  

The new funding will cover 73% of the costs to reform the four main components of the system, including the supply, pump stations and treatment, storage, and distribution. 

“Recognizing the considerable costs required for such expansive infrastructure upgrades, we are grateful that this funding will significantly reduce the taxation burden on the users of this system,” announced qathet Regional District Board Chair, Clay Brander, in a statement. 

The region would require elector approval for borrowing up to $4 million to fund the local portion of the eligible project costs, local officials said.  

In 2018, the region had applied for a similar grant to upgrade its water system, but was rejected.  

The Lund Waterworks District is a Water Improvement District servicing the residents of Lund, B.C., and is currently in receivership. Officials from the qathet Regional District said they will not appropriate the system as a new service until the water system is modernized to meet current provincial requirements. 

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