The District of Sicamous continued its trend of using less water.
Since 2017, the district’s water use has been slightly, but steadily, declining, according to its 2020 Annual Water System Report.
The report, released on Aug. 10, shows the district used 576,853 cubic metres of water in 2020, all pumped from Mara Lake. The water is then treated and pumped to the district’s distribution system and reservoirs.
District staff test raw water from Mara Lake monthly, and distributed water — the same treated water you’d get from your tap — weekly at six different locations. In 2020, three out of the 12 water samples collected from Mara Lake had E. Coli bacteria. However, zero out of 312 distributed water samples collected from around Sicamous tested positive for any sort of dangerous bacteria.
Water costs for 2020, which include administrative and operating costs and reserve transfers, totaled $1,181,104. This figure represents a small increase of $3,777 from 2019’s total of $1,177,327.
Aug. 17 was the day the district had its highest water use in 2020, at 3,800,000 litres. Feb. 4 was the day with the lowest use, at just 602,000 litres.
Public works supervisor Darrell Symbaluk noted at the May 26, 2021 council meeting that the increase in water use in the summer is due to the influx of tourists.
According to its 2020 Water System Report, improvements to the district’s water system in that year included:
- Completion of the Hillier Road West water main extension;
- Completion of the water main extension from Two Mile Road to Mervyn Road;
- Construction of an additional storage shed at the water treatment plant;
- Lake level monitoring stations;
- Valve cluster replacement the intersection of Shuswap and Finlayson streets;
- Providing water service to the hockey academy.
Also according to the report, planned improvements to the district’s water system to be completed (Or already completed) in 2021 include:
- Bayview Booster Station and CPR Hill Booster Station modifications to accept a mobile generator for power;
- Update infrastructure master plans, including the water system master plan and the water conservation plan;
- Complete the source water protection plan;
- Revise the subdivision and development servicing plan;
- Beach Park washroom.