Lantzville orders designs for city water hook up

NANAIMO – District council also approves recommendation to replace well at an estimated $250,000.

A new blueprint to map out a water connection to Nanaimo is among the “first real, concrete actions” to increase Lantzville’s water supply in decades, according to Lantzville Coun. Bob Colclough.

Increasing water supply has been a community priority to address issues of stagnant growth and contaminated private wells, but no clear course had been taken a year after Lantzville signed a deal with Nanaimo to connect homes with city water.

On Monday, politicians unanimously agreed to a wellfield study recommendation to replace a well, estimated to cost $250,000. Combined with the potential redevelopment of three other wells for which council agreed to budget, the district could get an additional 400 cubic metres of water a day from its system.

In a 5-2 vote, it also opted for detailed designs for a water connection to Nanaimo, despite concern by councillors Denise Haime and John Coulson the action is premature.

Coulson said council agreed to a workshop where it will talk about water problems, options and plans. He doesn’t believe it’s wise to spend money on detailed designs when council hasn’t decided if and when it’s going to use the Nanaimo connection. He also pointed to  the wellfield study as well as previous options that were in front of council years ago and would like at least a cursory review.

“A detailed engineering design they give you everything, it’s how big a hole you’re digging in the ground, how deep the pipe’s going, how you’re back filling it, compacting it.”

“It’s detailed construction plans,” Coulson said. “We don’t need that yet.”

Colclough, who made the three-part motion on water, said well improvements will get the district partway toward having enough water to build out the official community plan. The next step would be to connect to the City of Nanaimo for additional supply and the design work will allow the district to know exactly what’s entailed, an accurate cost estimate and ready them to put the work out to tender.

“I campaigned, as did a number of the other councillors that got elected in the by-election … on fixing the problem and getting on with it and that’s what we’re doing,” said Colclough.

A timeline has not been determined for detailed design work.