The Centre Mountain Business Park is undeveloped land south of Highway 14 and west of Happy Valley Road. (Google Maps)

Ground water supply a concern as west Langford industrial development ramps up

Centre Mountain Business Park has temporary permit to draw from aquifer until CRD water arrives

Developers will be responsible for covering the costs of bringing piped water to the Centre Mountain Business Park, but in the interim will need to use wells to pull water from the aquifer.

In January 2019 the City of Langford granted the owners of the future business park – planned for as-yet undeveloped land south of Highway 14 and west of Happy Valley Road – a variance permit to access water from the local aquifer.

However, that deal limits the number of businesses that can pull water from the aquifer and is contingent on the requirement that businesses stop doing so once piped municipal water is connected.

The timing for the municipal water connection is determined by the developers themselves, according to Ted Robbins, general manager of integrated water services for the Capital Regional District.

The CRD determines what infrastructure is needed, but doesn’t physically build it, he said, noting those costs must be paid by whomever develops the land.

“The developers really drive the schedule,” he said. “But our expectation remains that the entire development would be serviced by the CRD water system.”

Robbins said the development will likely require a water pump station, its own reservoir and the pipes to connect the area to CRD’s system.

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Mike Hicks, the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area director, said he worries there’s not enough information about the condition of the aquifer, and allowing new developments to pull water from it could drain the water source.

Seamus Brennan, project manager with Keycorp, the company working on selling the land to industrial developers, says they are working with the CRD on designs to introduce water service to the area, but said there’s various infrastructure pieces involved.

“If we need to, we will go into an aquifer and use a well,” he said. “But as that permit says, it’s just on a temporary basis. We’re aware of the concerns of the neighbours and we’re working with the powers that be – being the province – in anything we do as we move forward.”

Keycorp is working with the CRD to bring the water to the site as soon as it can, he added. “Nobody wants to have water there more than we do. Believe me.”

Brennan said it was too early to give a timeline for having water service introduced in the area, as Keycorp is still focused on lining up developers to buy lots.

Robbins also couldn’t comment on a timeline, but expects the site will see lots of construction activity in the coming years.


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