By late next week, the Wild Animal Rescue Centre in Metchosin, should be connected to piped tap water.
Connecting to regional water been a long time coming for the SPCA facility, which has been trucking in water for years. Occasionally, staff have forgotten to order water, forcing the facility to go into ultra conservation mode while scrambling to arrange delivery.
The waterline couldn’t come at a better time. The facility uses most of its water during the summer months when it houses and treats the majority of the animals it receives over the year.
“We are very excited,” said Kari Marks, Wild ARC manager.
Wild ARC has been fundraising for years and has even had the District of Metchoson apply for grants on its behalf to help pay for the expensive job of connecting to the Capital Regional District waterline.
The waterline project was given the go-ahead when the late Gladys Cavaghan, an Oak Bay resident, left the B.C. SPCA a $3.5 million legacy gift last year, the largest gift in the organization’s history.
The donated money was specified for infrastructure projects in Greater Victoria, and the Wild ARC project fit the bill. Of that large donation, $430,000 was earmarked for the waterline connection.
The facility depends on clean water to care for the nearly 2,000 animals that pass through the centre each year. Whether for laundry, dishes, feeding or cleaning, the water is always in high demand.
“We have to very careful when cleaning a dirty cage, (so animals don’t spread illness and disease),” Marks said.
CRD workcrews broke ground on Malloch Road in Metchosin on April 10, to install a waterline to the closest watermain on Liberty Drive. Although the facility has been trying to get hooked up to tap water since 2006, the installation was scheduled for completion in three weeks.
Malloch Road is getting fire hydrants installed as an added bonus, a feature that could be life saving in the event of a fire. “It’s rare, but it could be a catastrophe if we didn’t have a hydrant near us,” Marks said.
Having the water line will also benefit neighbouring homes who now have the option to hook up to the waterline.
In 2007, most residents on Malloch Road and a few on Liberty Drive agreed to collectively chip in 20 per cent of the cost and Wild ARC would cover the remainder. Some residents also truck in water to their homes.
The waterline will allow Wild ARC to stop trucking in about 20,000 litres water every few days in the summer.
The project coincides with the ongoing construction of a five-pool aquatic centre for waterfowl, marine birds and small sea mammals.