Dear Rate Payers:
Thank you for attending the 2016 Annual General Meeting of the Rate Payers of the Clearbrook Waterworks District.
2015 was an ambitious year which saw an increase in capital improvements, highlighted by the installation of approximately 700 meters of new pipe.
This report highlights many of the maintenance, administrative and capital projects that were completed in 2015.
Regular sampling and water quality monitoring take place in various forms on a bi-weekly, monthly and annual basis. The District employs a Water Quality Technician who consults with a hydrogeologist to monitor and report on the health of our water.
Some of these sampling practices include weekly sampling that is processed in-house, weekly sampling that is turned over to Fraser Health for analysis, bi-annual BART sampling which analyzes our wells for biological activity reactions, and an annual full spectrum analysis of our source, which is completed by a third party lab. These results are then posted on our website as part of the Annual Water Quality Report.
In 2015, the District earned a bronze medal in the ‘Best Municipal Water’ category at the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting event. I am pleased to announce that on February 27th of this year, our District’s water earned the GOLD MEDAL at the 2016 event, identifying our system as having the World’s Best Drinking Water! It is worth it to note that we have now won a total of four gold medals, more than any other system in the history of the Berkeley Springs event, which is the largest and longest running event of its kind.
In order to keep our equipment in top shape and to prevent failures of any sort, each individual piece is serviced on a regular basis by our field crew. Key pieces such as generators and heavy equipment are tested monthly and serviced annually by the manufacturers. Our instrumentation is inspected and tested quarterly to ensure accurate data collection.
Key to maintaining the integrity of our system and ensuring uninterrupted delivery of our resource is our commitment to system maintenance. In 2015, 190 hydrants were fully rebuilt and pressure tested to insure that fire protection is never compromised. Three aging hydrants were replaced and a new one was added to the system.
A broken gate valve was repaired and many more were ‘exercised’ as part of an ongoing program to maintain fully operable valves, which are necessary for emergency isolation during main break repairs and other forms of system maintenance such as flushing. Full system flushing is undertaken twice yearly. This helps to turn over water and clean pipes and valves which keeps our water fresh from source to tap.
A service line break was repaired with a full replacement and several others were disconnected after having been discontinued due to demolition.
The system is monitored regularly for leaks using a leak detection system that actively ‘listens’ for leaks.
Fire flow testing was completed throughout the system to collect data which was used to update a computer-simulated hydraulic model of our system. The model is used to perform analyses of our system where development is concerned. We can also engage the model to detect deficiencies and identify improvements when replacing pipe.
A student was hired this year to help maintain the grounds keeping around our sites. The summer help mowed lawns, trimmed hedges, power washed sites and buildings, and painted where necessary.
After recent construction and well drilling, our sites are in the process of being restored.
At our reservoir site, junipers and cedar hedging were planted and the site was graded and hydro-seeded. The driveway was paved and the bankside above the new pump station was covered in bark mulch.
At our Lynden well site, the lawn was restored and landscaped areas were created around the trees. Well head covers were re-painted at both well sites and contact alarms were installed on the two new covers.
The Autumn well site was upgraded with a transfer switch and we now have the ability to operate there on generator power, should an emergency situation require us to do so.
Site maintenance remains ongoing and with a new well project underway at our Autumn site, more restoration work is in our future.
In order to maximize the health and therefore the lifespan of our wells, we are engaged with a hydrogeologist who has developed an inspection, testing and maintenance program to regularly monitor performance and function. Additionally, the hydrogeologist has worked with the driller to create a rotating well cleaning and rehabilitation schedule. Our first replacement well, RW 3-93/11, which was drilled in 2011 was inspected and cleaned this past year. The field crew works closely with the hydrogeologist to undertake regular pump speed tests and pumping tests designed to track the performance and efficiency of the wells and pumps. Information collected by our Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system is closely monitored and analyzed. This data is used to monitor items such aquifer and well levels, temperatures, extraction rates and recharge.
A pump was installed in the District’s original well, Well 4-54. This was for comparison with a test well that was drilled at the Janzen Street works yard in 2014. Pumping and water quality testing were undertaken in an effort to quantify the potential for Janzen as a well site.
The hydrogeologist oversaw a 48 hour pumping test where both wells at the Lynden well site were run simultaneously for a 48 hour period. The test was designed to quantify a sustainable yield of our aquifer.
To complete our replacement well project RW 1-87/14, a technician officially commissioned the variable frequency drive, which operates the pump motor in the new well.
Late in 2015, two boreholes were drilled at our Autumn well site and a surface seal casing was installed. This commenced the start of our fourth replacement well project, RW 2-63. A twin well at our Autumn well site will provide us with redundancy at both of our well sites in the event of an emergency.
We underwent a couple of major changes at our reservoir site, only one of which would be noticeable to rate payers. The 70 foot high Reservoir A, originally constructed in 1977 was demolished. With the completion of the Reservoir Upgrade Project in 2014, Reservoir A was discontinued and disconnected from the system. The two remaining reservoirs, B and C were inspected and cleaned in the summer by divers from Phoenix Marine.
In order to increase the life of our well pumps, the reservoir cycles were changed so that our well pumps are each running approximately once every three days where they were previously firing multiple times per day. The fewer times a well pump needs to start and stop, the longer that pump and motor will last.
Our pipe replacement program saw 700 meters of new pipe installed this past year. Our own field crew installed 175 meters of 400 mm Bionax (PVCO) water main from the corner of Upland and Upland to Princess Street, which allowed us to discontinue the old asbestos cement water main that was in use. This project also included two new fire hydrant installations.
In a project that was tendered, Sandpiper Construction installed 245 meters of 300 mm Bionax pipe on Parkview Street from our Autumn well site to the intersection at Hillcrest Avenue, again replacing asbestos cement pipe. The other portion of the project saw Sandpiper eliminate almost 500 meters of brittle cast iron pipe by installing 160 meters of 200 mm and 300 mm Bionax pipe on Old Yale Road from Sunnyside Street to Braeside Avenue.
A new development on Auburn Street had the developer upgrading pipe at his expense. The new section of main is also Bionax and runs south on Auburn from South Fraser Way for 100 meters.
The International dump truck was sold and replaced with a 2015 Hino and a new dump/utility trailer was purchased.
In 2015, our field crew replaced 17 commercial and residential meters. Some of the larger commercial meters were replaced with ultrasonic meters which offer increased accuracy. Ten new residential services were installed to support new development and one new commercial service was installed, all by the District’s field crew.
During the third quarter meter read, commercial buildings were audited to identify outstanding deficiencies in cross connection control and a meter replacement program was prioritized.
Late in 2014 and early in 2015, our SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) software was updated and two new SCADA servers were installed for redundancy. Alarms were added to notify the operator on call if communication goes down. This work was performed by QCA Controls and they have now assumed the role of servicing and maintaining our SCADA system. QCA identified deficiencies in the system and worked with our Field Supervisor and the hydrogeologist to upgrade SCADA control and reporting processes.
Our hydraulic water model was forwarded to GeoAdvice Engineering for review, update and calibration. GeoAdvice specializes in the development of water models and will be charged with the calibration and operation of our model moving forward. The various uses for the water model have been described earlier in this report. The field staff, I and Kalwij Water Dynamics (hydrogeologist) all contributed in various ways (information and services) to support the review and update. GeoAdvice now handles all fire flow analyses that may be required by new development.
Opus DaytonKnight continues to serve as our civil engineering firm and was in charge of the design and construction services (inspection, record drawings, project management) of the tender projects at Parkview and Old Yale. Opus DaytonKnight has also updated our system map to reflect changes to the system over the past few years and continues to make refinements as per CWD staff review.
Our Drinking Water Officer at Fraser Health completed the annual inspection of our sites and system in July. Our system continues to be recognized as the standard for excellence in non-treated water systems. Our Water Quality Technician and I continue to meet with Fraser Health on a semi-regular basis to maintain transparency and to discuss changes or improvements that maintain CWD’s non-treated status.
Some of the administrative initiatives undertaken this year include creating new inter-office policies designed to streamline workflow and develop consistent practices in daily operations. We have revisited some of our bylaws and created four new ones, including a development bylaw for clear and consistent guidelines for developers.
We have refined our five year capital plan and built budgets and rate structures accordingly.
A Board meeting minute request has been added to the website and we have been diligent in keeping the home page current.
A new asset management tool has been custom built for the District. The program provides a central bank in a GIS format to collate data regarding maintenance practices and schedules of capital assets and should help us to maximize the useful life of District assets. The Field Supervisor and I put in many hours working with programmers to build the tool, which is being integrated into daily operations this year.
We have updated our Emergency Response Plan at the request of Fraser Health and we will continue to refine our emergency response skills accordingly.
Detailed reports of all activities are prepared for the Trustees to review at each monthly Board meeting.
We have tried to identify areas where we can augment value to the rate payers through improved customer service, quicker service call times and transparent operations.
In an effort to connect with our rate payers, we held an open house at our Lynden well field where rate payers engaged with staff and CWD partners to hopefully develop a clearer picture of infrastructure and system development. The goal was to bring the system “above-ground”. The event received good coverage on the BCWWA website, the Value of Water website and the EOCP newsletter.
We were the only water supplier invited to attend and set up a display booth at Science World’s annual Water Awareness event where we mingled with kids and their parents to introduce them to our system and create an appreciation for tap water.
We have developed a new logo that has been very well received throughout the industry. The new logo has been applied to all District vehicles, including the website address on the tailgates of the trucks, and new signage has gone up at the office.
We have become active on social media. Specifically, Facebook and Twitter. We are looking forward to the launch of our new website in the spring of 2016. We view these digital tools as a valuable means of communication and interaction with our rate payers moving forward.
In order to maintain our EOCP certification as operators, we are required to augment our development and education through course and conference attendance, where we acquire Continuing Education Units. Beyond this, we encourage education as a means of improvement and evolution. This benefits our water system and keeps us current with new technologies and processes. All staff members are cross-trained to ensure uninterrupted operations under irregular circumstances. In addition to in-house cross training, and some conference attendance by the Administrator and Field Supervisor, staff members undertook the following training in 2015:
The total volume of water that the District extracted from the aquifer through our wells in 2015 was 1,079,508.2 m³. Of this total, the actual volume of water sold (water that passed through rate payers’ meters) was 830,799.43 m³. The total volume that was discharged to ground was 84,334.62 m³. This number includes reservoir overflow, system flushing, metered hydrant discharge for developer usage, etc. The total volume of unaccounted for water was 164,375.15 m³, or 15.2% of the total that was extracted from the aquifer. This number represents leakage, fire department hydrant usage, fire line flushing in condos and any other discharge that does not pass through a meter.
I would like to commend the entire District staff for their diligence and commitment to success. Our team is a force and we can be proud of ourselves for a job well done. Our Field Supervisor and SCADA specialist James Wiens, Water Quality Technician Ryan Federau, Safety Liaison Thomas Page, System Operator Clint Holness, Comptroller Danette Haar, and Administrative Assistant Kathleen Selinger are highly skilled and committed to their roles. We are also thankful for the expert guidance of hydrogeologist Dr. Ineke Kalwij and the IT services provided by Chris Selkirk.
On behalf of the staff, I would like to thank the Board of Trustees for the ongoing support, oversight, sound decision making, and responsible stewardship that is required to maintain the integrity of our water system.
Of course, we also want to extend our sincerest thank you to you, our rate payers for your cooperation and stewardship of our resource. We thank you for your patience during periods of interruption and your willingness to work with our staff to resolve issues and your support of capital projects. Thank you for entrusting us with the care and maintenance of your system and we remain committed to doing so.
This past year has been an exciting one, and we have certainly set the bar high for 2016. The entire staff is energized following such a fruitful year and we are looking forward to the challenges in the year ahead!