Safe drinking water on tap for Robson?
Residents of Robson have been on a boil water notice since 1997, but now, finally, drinkable tap water might finally become a reality once more.
“In British Columbia, all water that is consumed by the public that is surface water, (our water is surface water from Pass Creek) by law has to be treated,” said Anne White, trustee for the Robson Raspberry Improvement District.
Robson now has a constructed water treatment plant and the only challenge left is getting it running properly, but a cracked valve in the water treatment plant is the latest setback in the project.
“It’s being replaced on Saturday [June 7],” said White.
The water has to be shut off on that day to replace the valve.
But there’s still more to do after the valve is replaced before the water is drinkable.
“There are some other valves and some other testing that we need to complete before we can turn the system on,” said White.
“I’m not going to commit to a time frame. We’ve had too many of them and something always seems to happen,” said White. “It’s frustrating for all of us.”
By July the system should be ready for sampling.
“It should be. Of course, we’ve said that before. We’re more hopeful this time,” said White.
“The project total is $3.2 million. Its being entirely paid for by the property owners in Robson.
We have had some financial assistance for bits of the project from the RDCK, which we have appreciated,” said White. “That’s the only assistance that we’ve had financially.”
The government is not obligated to help out, confirmed White, but they are pushing for the clean water system.
“It’s under the health authority,” said White.
Taxes have been raised for the residents of Robson to pay for the project.
“We put the taxes up three or four years ago. We were able to actually save some money because we put them up a bit early and we were able to use that money towards the implementation of the plant,” said White. “It saved us in the long run because we were gaining interest on that money and we didn’t have to pay interest on borrowing more. We had a nice head start because of that.”
Chlorine will be in the tap water once the system is up and running.
“It’s not really a concern. It will be a very small amount of chlorine,” said White. “The citizens of Robson have been very, very patient through all this and for the most part people have been really wonderful and really supportive of the board. That’s been really helpful. It hasn’t been an easy process. “It’s been very long and in many ways painful,” said White.
White has been a resident of Robson for 13 years.
“I moved here in 2001 and it didn’t bother me about the water. It is what it is. You learn to deal with it. I was more interested in the beauty of the surrounding area and its been well worth it,” said White.
White estimates there’s between 1,200 and 1,500 people living in Robson.