Federal funding sought for Charlie Lake water station

The Peace River Regional District is seeking federal support to build a reclaimed water station in Charlie Lake.

The board voted Oct. 22 to apply for $2 million from the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, and committed $1 million from Peace River Agreement Funds for its construction.

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The system is a key component of the PRRD’s 2018 water conservation plan, and is currently estimated to cost $2 million to build.

“Should the District complete the reclaimed water facility at its Charlie Lake Wastewater Treatment Plant, it is likely that the rate of potable water use for non-potable uses in the region would decrease, thereby extending the useful life of potable water infrastructure,” the plan states.

The PRRD sought a grant from the same program in 2018 to fund the design and construction of the facility, but was not successful. The PRRD aslo applied for a federal green infrastructure grant in February, however, grant awards have been delayed until spring 2021.

Effluent is currently disposed of through an outfall to the Peace River, but the PRRD is interested in using it instead to produce reclaimed water for a variety of industrial uses, and in place of freshwater. 

The oil and gas sector is capable of using the water for hydraulic fracturing and drilling wells, as well as for the hydrostatic testing of pipelines, soil compaction during construction, and for washing equipment.

The Ministry of Transportation could use the water for dust control on rural roads, while agricultural use would include crop irrigation and make-down water for pesticides and fertilizers.

A new facility in Charlie Lake would complement one operating in Dawson Creek since 2012, and one nearly ready for use in Fort St. John.

Email reporter Tom Summer at tsummer@ahnfsj.ca.

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