Cove Bay Water Treatment Plant Pilot Project to begin this summer

When you’re passing by Grafton Lake this summer, you may notice a new structure sitting by the dam just off the side of the road. This container, expected to be fully installed mid-July, will house a mini water purification system that will serve as a pilot project to establish whether a proposed water treatment technology – ceramic ultra-filtration membrane process – will effectively treat Cove Bay water.

The overall goal of the project is to help provide clean, clear and safe drinking water to the more than 600 households that use the Cove Bay Water System.

The project was set in motion earlier this year when Bowen Island Municipality received a $3,890,367 grant from the joint Federal/Provincial Building Canada Fund – Small Communities Component. The grant represents a 2/3 share of the cost of the full-scale water treatment plant.

The pilot project is expected to be operational until the end of November, during which time water samples treated with the ceramic ultra-filtration membrane process will be analyzed, and municipal staff trained on the operation and maintenance of the system. The ceramic ultra-filtration membrane process – a technology developed in Canada – filters out bacteria, pathogens and organic matter in the water.  This means less chlorine is required to be added to the water in order to meet Vancouver Coastal Health Authority’s Drinking Water Treatment Objective.

If the ceramic ultra-filtration membrane process is determined to be successful, Council will move forward with construction of the full-scale water treatment plant in 2018.  In fall 2017, Council will consider options for funding the municipal 1/3 contribution to overall project costs.

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