Up-front price tag for new Abbotsford/Mission water source rises

Consultants suggest shifting $7 million in costs from project’s second stage

Expanding Abbotsford and Mission’s water supply will cost more money up front than expected, but the total price tag hasn’t changed.

The two cities are planning to build a collector well and treatment facility near the Fraser River to ensure the two cities have enough water as they grow over the decades to come.

The total cost for the project was pegged at $85 million last year, with $66 million to be spent up front to get the facility operating.

A further study for the two communities has found that the first phase of construction will cost $7 million more due to “site and seismic factors” and to reduce future costs. However, that money would be shifted from the planned second phase of construction, meaning the total cost of the project would remain the same.

A collector well is a large well dug into the ground near a surface water source like a river. It draws groundwater that originates from the surface water source. Such wells are in operation in Cincinnati and Prince George.

Planning work continues, and more testing is needed to confirm that the proposed location on the south side of the Fraser River, near the base of Sumas Mountain, will provide a sustainable long-term source of water.

Early concepts envision a treatment facility on a triangular piece of land at the intersection of Sim Road and Walters Street on Matsqui Prairie.

If all goes smoothly, construction would start around 2022, with the facility beginning operation in 2024.

Since 2014, water consumption has risen just two per cent. The two cities have grown significantly faster than that, meaning per-resident consumption continues to fall.

RELATED: Location eyed for possible collector well

RELATED: Three unsexy projects account for bulk of $1 billion in infrastructure needs


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tolsen@abbynews.com

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