Town Services

NSA Water Plant Information

Why do we need a new Water Treatment Plant?

The North Service Water Treatment Plant (WTP) was built forty years ago. As such, the existing equipment is aged and parts are difficult and expensive to find, if they're still produced at all. As time goes on, our technology and efficiency becomes more and more outdated and state regulations get stricter. We will reach a point where the existing system will not meet either the standards, the demands, or both.

  • Compliance with Existing Regulations & Water Quality Improvement

The existing plant's disinfecting system needs improvements to better meet current health-based water quality standards. There are newer and more efficient and effective methods available that will be installed with the creation of a new treatment plant.

  • Water Service Reliability

The plant is in need of upgrades and replacements due to the physical deterioration and the difficulty of making upgrades as water demands and equipment utilization needs increase. Corrosion is routinely observed and repaired (where it can be) in the main treatment basis, but portions are inaccessible. This makes the extent of the corrosion unknown. Pumping equipment and valves are reaching the end of their useful lives. For example, the bodies of two recently removed valves fell apart into disrepair upon extraction.

The treatment process equipment, due to its effective capacity, is just able to produce the amount of potable water demanded by the Town during spring when the river quality is poorest and during summer months when demand is at its peak. Importantly, the existing process may not be able to function at all, or at a severely curtailed level, should there be the kind of deterioration in river quality that has been observed elsewhere in the state with runoff events following wildfires. Improving the ability to produce and deliver potable water in the face of an upstream contamination event is a key water resiliency improvement need.

  • Operator Safety

The existing plant's chemical storage and handling systems are antiquated and no longer meet applicable codes or design standards. They require a significant amount of manual labor and don't include proper ventilation, spill containment, or separation. Improving staff safety, efficiency of operation, and automation cannot be done within the existing space.

  • Capacity Expansion

As noted, the current process has little margin to meet water demands above current levels, with the assumption that both existing treatment units and all equipment is working properly. While there is little room for additional growth and development in the North Service Area, already there is substandard reliability to being able to service additional needs.

  •  Redundancy Improvement

The existing plant does not have back-up power, yet it relies on multiple sets of pumps to produce and deliver treated water. Water demand during spring runoff an summer seasons exceeds the capacity of a single treatment unit. This means both treatment units have to operate throughout the year in order to meet consumer needs. Adding treatment capacity would increase water service reliability and allow for maintenance to be conducted in a more timely fashion. It also lacks the ability to store water for multiple days. In the event of an upstream contamination event such as a wildfire or oil spill, the plant does not have a way to temporarily divert water and still provide clean water to the people.

  • Minimizing Overall Cost of Service

There is an unprecedented amount of grant (or loan "principal forgiveness") money available now and for the next several years through the State Revolving Fund Loan program. SGM (the Town's engineer) believes it is unlikely that this opportunity will be extended or return within the life of the current plant. Furthermore, construction costs and interest rates continue to rise rapidly. While delaying the project would allow the Town to increase its reserve funds, thus facilitating a reduction in the financed amount, it likely also would lead to higher construction costs and interest rates. It is SGM's opinion that moving forward with the plant replacement now will minimize costs in the long run despite requiring significantly higher rates now. 


Critical System Information

Source Water Area: the greater Fraser River watershed and a 1,000 foot buffer on both sides of the stream center line of all the major tributaries in the watershed upstream of the Town of Granby.

Source Water: Fraser River surface water

Storage Water: the plant has the capacity for approximately 1-2 days of drinking water storage depending on the demand.

Backup Power: none.