Water facility to be finished in November

NANAIMO – City is still constructing the South Forks Water Treatment Plant, part of a new $70-million filtration system.

Delays continue for Nanaimo’s new state-of-the-art water treatment plant.

The city plans to throw the switch on the South Forks Water Treatment Plant, part of its new $70-million filtration system, in November – seven months after its deadline to complete the project.

According to Bill Sims, the city’s manager of water resources, the new facility has faced delays “not unexpected for a plant of this size,” from issues in the concrete to repair work on the structural steel. It’s also used 81 per cent of its $1.35-million contingency fund.

Sims said the city will watch the project “carefully and hopefully” with respect to any further challenges and cost increases, but with a roof now on the building and the city on the way toward a sealed building, he says the project is on the home stretch.

“We expect that things will be in very, very good shape by the summer time,” Sims said.

Construction of the new plant got underway in April 2013 to meet new Island Health guidelines.

The health authority is OK with the changed timeline. “It’s not like it’s not going to get completed now,” said Dr. Paul Hasselback, Island Health’s medical health officer for central Vancouver Island.

Once complete, the plant is expected to cost $1.2 million in its first full year, including $700,000 to staff the plant.