Today, the City of White Rock celebrated a milestone event with representatives from the Government of Canada and Government of British Columbia in regards to the construction progress of the City’s Water Treatment Plant, funded through the Clean Water & Wastewater Fund (CWWF).
The City’s Water Treatment Plant project would not have been possible without the vision of the Government of Canada and Government of British Columbia who created the CWWF as they understand that building and maintaining high-quality water and infrastructure are an essential part of livable communities. Their commitment to partnering with small communities is a testament to their dedication of ensuring that local governments are able to deliver the public infrastructure needed in their respective communities.
For decades, water services in White Rock had been privately owned and operated until the City acquired the water utility, in October of 2015. Soon after taking ownership of the water utility, the City confirmed that it had naturally occurring arsenic and manganese in its water, which is the same water provided to White Rock water users, by previous owners, for well over 60 years.
Although the maximum allowable concentration (MAC) levels of these naturally occurring elements were (and still are) within Health Canada's Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality, the City was not satisfied and disappointed that previous owners of the utility had not invested in water related infrastructure and/or water quality enhancements; especially since water quality standards have increased over the years. As a result, the City took immediate steps to improve and enhance the City’s water distribution system and quality, which included looking at building water treatment processes that would greatly reduce the naturally occurring arsenic and manganese.
In 2017, the City was awarded nearly $12 million dollars in grant money for its $14 million Water Treatment Plant project through the CWWF; out of the 144 CWWF projects funded by Canada and British Columbia, the City’s treatment plant was the third highest funded project.
Thanks to this vital grant provided by the Government of Canada and Government of British Columbia, not only is the City building a water treatment plant, but was able to conduct important on-site scientific research, in collaboration with RES’EAU-WaterNET, which has led to the selection of water treatment processes designed to significantly reduce the naturally occurring arsenic and manganese. Once these technologies are operational in the treatment plant, the naturally occurring arsenic levels will be less than 2 micrograms per litre (the MAC level by Health Canada is 10 micrograms/litre). And, although there are no MAC levels for naturally occurring manganese, it is believed that Health Canada is considering a MAC level of 100 micrograms per litre. The City’s water treatment process will reduce the naturally occurring manganese levels to less than 5 micrograms per litre.
The construction of the Water Treatment Plant is on schedule and will be completed by March 2019.
Gordie Hogg, Member of Parliament for South Surrey–White Rock, on behalf of the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
“The Government of Canada is proud to invest in green infrastructure that helps build cleaner, stronger communities. This new Water Treatment Plant in White Rock will not only ensure the city has the modern infrastructure it needs to manage its own water distribution, but also provide higher quality water to residents for years to come.”
The Honourable Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
“People in White Rock, and everywhere in British Columbia, should be able to access clean, healthy drinking water. Together with the federal government, we are investing in infrastructure that makes life better for British Columbians, and that includes making sure everyone in White Rock has access to safe water now, and for generations to come.”
Wayne Baldwin, Mayor of the City of White Rock
“Acquiring the water utility was a bold step taken by City Council that was no easy task. However, we were committed, and remain committed, to ensuring that White Rock residents, businesses, and visitors alike have quality water. For a small community like White Rock, $14 million dollars is a lot of money. We are very grateful to the Government of Canada and Government of British Columbia for creating the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund to allow communities like ours to have access to grants that will help us provide safe and clean water for generations to come.”
Additional Photos can be found on the City of White Rock's official Flickr account - Click here to see more.
From Left: Mayor Baldwin, MP Hogg and MLA Begg
From Left: Councillor Meyer, Mayor Baldwin, Councillor Sinclair, MP Hogg, MLA Begg, Councillor Knight and Councillor Lawrence.
- The Clean Water Wastewater Fund (CWWF) offers funding up to a maximum of eighty-three percent (83%) of the total eligible project costs, with fifty percent (50%) of the funds contributed by the Government of Canada, thirty-three percent (33%) by the Province of British Columbia, and seventeen percent (17%) by local government.
- The total project cost of the City of White Rock’s Water Treatment Plant is $14, 200,000, with the:
- Government of Canada allocating $7,102,500 towards the City of White Rock’s Water Treatment Plant project;
- Government of British Columbia allotting $4,687,650 towards the City of White Rock’s Water Treatment Plant project; and,
- City of White Rock contributing $2,414,850 towards its Water Treatment Plant project.
- In less than three years of ownership, the City of White Rock has taken many steps to improve the water quality and continues to make progress on its water-related activities. To learn more, please go to: www.whiterockcity.ca/mywater.
Contacts for Media:
City of White Rock
Manager, Communications & Government Relations
Toll free: 1-877-250-7154
Municipal Affairs and Housing