Sointula Waterworks District
2020 AGM Chair Report
Welcome to your Sointula Waterworks District AGM
In 2019, your Waterworks District Board, consisted of Heather Orr (chair), Vern Aro, Ross Weaver, Virginia Goodwin, Ken Egan, Beverley Knox (office) and John Brunet (maintenance).
Water: We had 6 new or replaced curb stop shut off valve, 4 repairs, 2 new services in the district.
VIHA’s yearly inspection has several recommendations which are being implemented, one being a Cross Connection Control System.
SWD water test deliveries continue to be challenging, we have had and continue to have deliveries of our water test taken over to Port McNeill by local people. We would like to thank them for their time.
SWD had a water test that came back with a Coliform count, no water advisory needed. Re-tested, test result returned in safe range. This negative water test could have been due to an upside down tap, this tap has been corrected along with a better way of disinfecting the testing area.
Office: The SWD administrator Beverley has completed the Advance Accounting course. We purchased a large amount of ink cartridges and saved $140.00. Ordered current maps from RDMW for plumbing details.
The SWD has completed the SWD auditors recommendation for a tracking inventory.
SWD administer and maintenance personal have tweaked the inventory tracking and ordering of inventory. While doing this they have come across several obsolete pipe items, which will be depreciated and recycled.
SWD Maintenance John Brunet has completed the required course to service the SWD Water System.
Wells: Well #4 continues doing a great job supplying water to the system. In the future Well #3 will have a 15 HP V.F.D. motor replacing the present motor. Well #3 is used as a back up, when needed.
SWD pays $306.00 for each well test, the wells get tested yearly.
The SWD system has 4 wells, These wells are not Artesian fed (as I mentioned in last chair report) Correction is: These wells are recharged by Rain Water Aquaphor.
Hydrants: A Hydrant was donated by a ratepayer and will be installed on the 15th Ave extension, and now that Well #4 is up and running we will continue installing additional hydrants, keeping in mind the best coverage to business and homes.
Tolls and Parcel Tax By-Law: Each year we have to submit our By- Laws for Taxation. This year we have again looked at our financial expenses for the year 2020. We have new expenses along with increased costs, we have raised Tolls and Taxes across the board 10%.
This year SWD has purchased Ron Minshull’s van for parts for the SWD work vehicle.
Also a Weed Eater along with Safety gear to remain in the SWD work vehicle to access when required.
Projects: With Well #4 is up and running. We are deep into the project which was put on hold. This project is to clean up the 2″ lines that run through ratepayers properties. This area is up 11th Ave. across 3rd St. and down 12th Ave. In completing this project SWD will have a loop in the system which works well into the request of VIHA’s inspection recommendation to upgrade. The Engineering drawings are back, their bill is paid, next is to order the supplies required and install. Placing these pipes in the ground will be the cost to the SWD.
Another project underway, and is ready to dig when pipe supplies arrive, is a new water line extension for property owners in the Sointula Waterworks District. This project is called the15th Ave. line extension, with a little cost to the SWD we will continue this line to create a loop. Loops eliminate any dead ends and continue water flow through the system.
Subdivisions: Requirements to subdivide property in the SWD boundaries are as is: Every new lot created, needs a new water service. In addition, all subdivision applications have a fee of $550.00 for initial application and $3700.00 (subdivision development fee) per lot to be paid before water service installation commences. Along with this cost, if there is no existing water line going past the subdivided lot(s) there is an extra cost of engineering, pipes and labour. SWD board has agreed that this is a cash up front transaction with no available payment plan option.
Cross Contamination: Cross Contamination is a very hot topic with VIHA and will continue to be in the future. SWD has been addressed by Vancouver Island Health Authority to protect the SWD drinking water system from potential contamination, by eliminating all cross connections.
Direct water lines into resident houses and commercial businesses require a back flow preventer. This back-flow preventer will only allow water to flow in the desired direction and physically impedes reverse flow.
Motion: SWD recommends ratepayers to install check valves on each individual service as advised by VIHA. Upon installing check valves, then notify administration of installation. SWD requests this to be completed by Dec. 15, 2020.
Moved: Ken Egan, Second: Virginia Goodwin, Vote: MSC Sept. 10 2019
As of end of Dec. 2019, we have 86 check valves installed. Thank you to those who have installed their check valves.
SWD posted notices for ratepayers to install check valves on their buildings, using the word “Urgent”. We decided to use this word so people wouldn’t toss this notice aside and forget about doing it. Putting check valves into your building is very important and when doing so, you find you don’t have a shut off tap on the plumbing pipe that enters your building, this would be the ideal time to put one on, without one, a pipe could break in your building and flood it, you would then need to call SWD to shut the water off at the curb stop, and not every property owner knows where it is. It is up to the property owner to know where their curb stop is.
SWD has finalized and received the SWD By-Law No. 106
Cross Connection Control
Extras: As media expresses “Call before you dig” also applies to the SWD. We have our water system pipes buried along the road sides. In sharing this with you, no one is to connect their water line to the SWD water system, or connect to the SWD water system if they are not in the Sointula Waterworks District’s boundary. This is illegal and creates a big chance of cross contamination. If you require a water hook-up please come into the office.
Reminder to all SWD ratepayers to shut off all taps that are connected to hoses, weather to yard work, mobile home or a boat in the breakwaters, leaving these taps open will cause a high risk of cross contamination to the SWD drinking water.
If anyone notices water on surfaces or areas where water is questionable within the Sointula Water District, please phone John Brunet or the SWD office. We are always on the watch for leaks/ breaks in the system.
We have filled the position of back-up maintenance worker. Matt Preston is in training. Welcome to the team Matt. This is an on call position. John Huston is filling in where needed. We thank him for helping us out.
EOCP/VIHA training facility has sent new requirements: Small Water System Classification expires every 2 years.
If any SWD ratepayers have a B+B, Air B+B, room rental(s) in their dwellings or on their properties, please notify the SWD office if you haven’t already.
As another requirement of the SWD Board we are to implement is a “5 Year Plan”. We have been compiling a list of replacements, repairs, and up grades, from pipes to electronics and then some. This list is long with being prioritized to which are important. Good news is that some of these items have been or are in the process of being done. The list we compiled has some very expensive projects.
One of the important items on the list is the replacement of the 4″ line to 6″ line, These lines are nearing their life expediency, and should not be ignored. SWD is owned and operated by the Sointula ratepayers. When a big project requires to be done. The monies need to come from the SWD ratepayers as they have in the past. When the SWD Board nears this project, we will be in touch with you, the ratepayers, for approval both on the project and proposed method used to finance.
SWD Bank Account descriptions:
Chequing 1060 (Operations) Used for expenses.
HISA 1 (Contingency) Used for supplying water in an emergency, should have at least 200,000.00 balance.
HISA 2 (Construction Deposits) Customer deposit monies held for new service connections.
HISA 3 (Depreciation) Depreciation from aging pipes, wells and equipment monies deposited here. We have closed this account since
HISA 4 (Capital Renewal Reserve) Used toward repairing and replacing old system.
It is of the utmost importance that the SWD ratepayer pay their tolls and taxes each year. These monies are needed to maintain and up grade your SWD water system. If tolls and taxes are not paid for 2 years, your property will be sold for the amount owing through a Tax Sale
On December 14, 1965 the Provincial Government incorporated the Sointula Waterworks District. The SWD water system was formed after some of the local fishermen put money forward to obtain a supply of water, and develop Sointula Water Works. That worked for several years with the debt slowly being paid down. We were always in the red. Later in date, the wood stave water tank needed replacing, requiring 70.000.00. A special meeting was called with the members of the district. The meeting didn’t last long, everyone agreed to cover the cost of the water tank. The next year they moved into the black. It’s the one community infrastructure that was developed and built by the members of the water district, debt free, paid for and in the black. (Ron Minshull)
On behalf of the SWD Board, we would like to thank Beverley Knox for all her hard work and dedication to working through the piles of office work.
To John Brunet, for all the extra projects that required completion, getting up at all hours of the night to ensure we have water, as well as keeping our great water flowing.
A big thank you to Dee Cameron, SWD Financial Auditor, who keeps us on track.
To Art Swanson and Earl Laughlin for the delicate machine work and expertise in working and their knowledge of SWD’s system.
Thank you to all who helped on the side lines, and those who helped at our SWD AGM
Thank you all for coming out to your SWD AGM