Questions over the availability of potable water by the Capital Regional District to remote Juan de Fuca residents continue to swirl despite being discussed during a Jan.7 commission meeting.
Last July the CRD shut down some standpipes used by a delivery company to access water, resulting in increased distances for the business to pick up and deliver to areas in Metchosin, Highlands and other outlying regions.
At the meeting, Juan de Fuca area director Mike Hicks offered up gas tax money to pay for two stand pipes on either end of the electoral area, close to Otter Point and on the new East Sooke Fire Department property.
New bulk water dispensing stations are being installed in Sooke, Langford and East Sooke, with the latter to be completed this year, but the distance to those stations and the slower fill time would still result in the water delivery company raising its rates.
Around 600 customers in Metchosin, Highlands and Sooke areas use potable water deliveries.
“It is so incredibly important to the 600 families that are getting water that we provide it as close to them and as efficiently as we can,” Hicks said. “I’m very hopeful.”
South Island Water Ltd. owner Teresa Hall, whose company is currently the only delivery service in the area, said she was disappointed she and her customers didn’t get the opportunity to speak at the meeting. Her company pays the CRD for water and then charges customers for delivery.
“We are certified by (Island Health), we are the only certified potable water hauler for this area,” Hall said.
Hall said they will have to raise prices by the summer if nothing changes, otherwise they will be losing money.
“If this going to go on for months and months and months, we’re going to have to,” Hall said. “We’d rather not, we’d rather hope that this can get rectified. … We’re keeping our fingers crossed.”
The report has been tabled for CRD staff to look into suggestions raised at the meeting.
– With files from Pirjo Raits