Drinking water in Mission and Abbotsford is about to become safer and of better quality, thanks to the completion of the new, $4.2 million Cannell Lake water treatment plant.
According to a press release, the aging chlorination equipment has been replaced with a “modern, safe and efficient system which uses salt and electricity to create chlorine.”
A new ultraviolet disinfection system was also added as an extra layer of protection.
The new plant, which will be operational in the coming weeks, will ensure the delivery of safe, higher quality drinking water to all residents for years to come.
Jati Sidhu, MP for Mission–Matsqui–Fraser Canyon, Marc Dalton, MLA for Maple Ridge-Mission and Darryl Plecas, MLA for Abbotsford South joined Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun and Mission Mayor Randy Hawes for the announcement on Tuesday morning at Mission City Hall.
The federal government contributed $3,078,000 to this project through the federal Gas Tax Fund. The District of Mission and the City of Abbotsford contributed $1,203,000. The total project cost is $4,281,000.
“Access to clean water and reliable drinking water is critical to the health and prosperity of Canadians. That’s why the government of Canada and British Columbia are committed to investing in modern water infrastructure,” said Sidhu.
Hawes said the completion of the treatment plant is good news for Mission and Abbotsford residents alike.
“The water has to be disinfected,” he said, adding that Cannell Lake is a small watershed with plenty of activity surrounding it, including small animals that go in and out of the water.
Hawes said the current use of chloramination is effective, but “it is not 100 per cent.” He added by using the new ultraviolet disinfection system, that ensures a “total kill” of water-born bacterias.
Cannell Lake is just a small portion of the water supply for the two cities. Norrish Creek is the main source of water for the areas.
“We have a different filtering system in Norrish Creek. We do chloraminate there too.”
Hawes said he didn’t think Norrish Creek needs the new ultraviolet system because it already has a filtering system in place.
Braun said he believes Abbotsford residents don’t use much of the water supplied by Cannell Lake.
“Cannell Lake is used to service the higher elevations of Mission,” said Braun. “We have a joint water system and sometimes things benefit one jurisdiction over the other, but collectively, we have a good water system.”
The Abbotsford mayor said the new water treatment project was originally begun about two years ago, by Fraser Health.
“They were the ones who mandated that we had to do this. We didn’t have a choice.”