Summerland residents in the Garnett Valley Road area got a double boost Friday when Mayor Peter Waterman announced long awaited improvements to water supply infrastructure.
Summerland has entered a partnership with the province and the federal government to twin the water lines in Jones Flat and Garnett Valley, a project that has been talked about and planned for many years.
The twinning will increase access to safe drinking water, and increase the supply for agricultural use. But it also means improvements to Garnett Valley Road as the new infrastructure is installed, starting later this year, according to Waterman.
“We have to dig the road up to do the water separation project,” said Waterman. “As we redo these water lines, we will be redoing the surface of the road.”
But the prime focus of the project, estimated to cost $6.79 million – split between all three levels of government – is improving the water supply. In order to provide quality water for this area, a new nine-kilometre dedicated domestic line will be installed and, in the northern reaches, pumped through a booster station.
“A safe secure and reliable water supply is a high priority for the district of Summerland,” said Waterman, who thanked MLA Dan Ashton and MP Dan Albas for their support. “We are very pleased with the commitment of the federal and provincial governments.”
The project will supply high quality water from the water treatment plant to the Garnett Valley domestic users, who have one or two boil water advisories each year, according to Waterman.
“It will also assist community health by eliminating the need for boil water advisories,” said Waterman. “It will encourage economic growth, particularly in the agricultural sector, as it will reduce pressure to introduce water restrictions.
“It is going to be a win-win all round. The Garnett Valley domestic users and our agricultural users have waited quite a while for this. Everybody is going to be very happy with it.”
Funding for the project comes through the Small Communities Fund, with the province and the federal governments each providing up to $2,263,333. The District of Summerland will be responsible for all remaining costs.
“We are proud to invest in projects like this new water line in Summerland that will benefit our community by improving much needed local infrastructure,” said Albas.
Waterman also praised the work of his fellow councillors, both current and past, for the work done in meetings with the premier and provincial ministers to convince them of the need for this project.
“Our partnership with the federal government is providing funding for Summerland’s twinning of the Jones Flat and the Garnett Valley water systems,” said Ashton, noting that improving the water supply infrastructure was critical for area residents.