The Englishman River watershed.

The Englishman River Water Service (ERWS), a joint venture between the City of Parksville and the Regional District of Nanaimo, British Columbia, has been awarded more than $1.3 million from the federal Gas Tax Fund for a project to store and recover water in an aquifer.

Aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) is a relatively new technology that is intended to manage peak demands and reduce overall demand on water treatment plants. The project will help excess water from the Englishman River flow through the treatment plant, and into wells. In the summer months, water will be withdrawn from the wells and pumped into the distribution system.

“If the analysis of this project proves successful, we will be able to reduce the future water treatment plant capacity by about one-third,” said Joe Stanhope, chair of the Englishman River Water Service Management Board. “This technology will also allow the quantity of water taken from the Englishman River during the summer months to be reduced, on average, by 50 per cent. This will assist in maintaining the minimum fisheries flow in the lower reaches of the river, and will provide an important supplemental source of water to meet future need.”

“The federal Gas Tax Fund will allow the Englishman River Water Service to research this innovative ASR technology not only for the residents of our region but also as a first for British Columbia,” said Chris Burger, mayor of the City of Parksville. “We are excited to be given this opportunity which will allow us to efficiently store drinking water at a lower cost.”

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Image: rdn.bc.ca

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