Windermere Water Upgrade

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Consultation has concluded

The Windermere Water Upgrade & East Side Lake Windermere Project is underway. There are various components to the project, including:

  • Connecting the Windermere townsite water system to the existing Parr water system
  • Modifying the Water Treatment Plant’s SCADA system to work with the RDEK’s existing network
  • Fire hydrant and watermain upgrades in the Windermere townsite area

The Windermere townsite area is currently expected to be connected to the East Side Lake Windermere Water System in spring 2020. Once connected, the RDEK will work with the Interior Health Authority to lift the Water Quality Advisory.

Throughout the project, construction updates, newsletters and other information will be posted on this project page.

The Windermere Water Upgrade & East Side Lake Windermere Project is underway. There are various components to the project, including:

  • Connecting the Windermere townsite water system to the existing Parr water system
  • Modifying the Water Treatment Plant’s SCADA system to work with the RDEK’s existing network
  • Fire hydrant and watermain upgrades in the Windermere townsite area

The Windermere townsite area is currently expected to be connected to the East Side Lake Windermere Water System in spring 2020. Once connected, the RDEK will work with the Interior Health Authority to lift the Water Quality Advisory.

Throughout the project, construction updates, newsletters and other information will be posted on this project page.

Consultation has concluded
  • Construction Update #6 - June 24, 2019

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    Construction in Windermere continues to move ahead. The watermain in North Street between the community center and the Red Coach motel is almost installed. Water services, road crossings to connect the lanes off Sinclair and hydrants are still outstanding (although some of that work was done on Friday). Once the work is complete, there is about a week’s worth of testing followed by five tie-ins between the new and existing system to complete before the houses are switched off the overland water service to the new watermain. The five tie-ins will mean half-day to full-day water shutdowns and the affected properties will vary. Notices will be provided ahead of time.

    Potentially during the next testing period, otherwise when the services are tied in, finishing up the lanes and putting some fences back up will occur. It has been quite some time for some properties, and we appreciate your patience.

    In terms of “finishing” the lanes, Eagle Rock, the contractor, will put a little topsoil and then hydroseed the lanes. This work will be done in the fall to help ensure the grass will take root. Once the hydroseed has been placed, we ask that vehicles stay off the lanes until summer so the roots can take.

    If you have questions about the project, please contact Elizabeth at eahlgren@rdek.bc.ca or 1-888-478-7335 in our Cranbrook office.


  • Construction Update #5 - June 13, 2019

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    Construction in Windermere continues to move ahead. The watermain in Sinclair between the store and the community center has been installed. Work was delayed the last day and a half while exploration into an unexpected watermain occurred. We believe we have it figured out now, but the newly discovered pipe needs to be capped. This requires a half day shutdown of the water system in the surrounding area.

    The overland water service will not be operational, including the first block of the lanes west of Sinclair (across from the pub & community center) and those properties on North Street both west & east of the community center. A portion of Wood Lane and Windermere Cemetery Road will also be affected. Notices were delivered yesterday afternoon and the shut down is expected to occur this morning.

    By late this morning, or early afternoon, Eagle Rock, the Contractor, should be back to installing watermain in North Street from the community hall and heading towards the Red Coach motel.

    All but one of the water services in the lanes and Victoria where Eagle Rock was working have been switched over to the newly installed watermain (these areas should not be affected by the shutdown). Finishing up the lanes and putting some fences back up is still to come.

    Construction can be inconvenient and we appreciate the community’s patience as we work to improve the water system.

    If you have questions about the project, please contact Elizabeth at eahlgren@rdek.bc.ca or 1-888-478-7335 in our Cranbrook office.


  • Construction Update #4 - May 27, 2019

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    Here is the latest Windermere Water Upgrade construction update.

    Starting today, Eagle Rock will be connecting the new watermain they installed to the existing water system by the Stolen Church and in Swansea at the lane north of Government. Some homes in the neighbouring area will be without water for the day, and our contractor has delivered notices to the affected property owners. Once tied in, they will work on switching the house water services from the old to the new, which involves working close to the property line. Some fences will be temporarily removed (they will be put back up following the work) and some landscaping may also be affected. This work is expected to take a couple of days. Following this, they will go back to the lane where they were working at the end last week (between Swansea and Victoria on the other side of Government) to finish installing the watermain there.

    Construction is often dusty. Eagle Rock is passing water trucks through the site regularly and intends to arrange for weekly sweeping of affected roads. If you do feel there is excessive dust in an area, please advise someone on site or give Elizabeth a call in our Cranbrook office.

    We had a question about the roads and we thought the response may be of interest. There are a number of patches around Windermere where the Contractor was investigating for the project. These patches will likely remain until the end of the project when Eagle Rock will have a paving subcontractor come in to complete all the repairs at the same time.

    If you have any questions or concerns, please call Elizabeth Ahlgren at the RDEK's Cranbrook office (250) 489-2791 / toll free 1-888-478-7335 or send her an email (eahlgren@rdek.bc.ca). She is the project lead and your best resource on this project.


  • Construction Update #3 - May 17, 2019

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    Construction has progressed since the last update. The watermain in Victoria and the lane north of Government has been installed. Eagle Rock, the Contractor, has left the site for the long weekend. Mark, the Site Superintendent, is in the area this weekend. As posted on the notices, if there are any concerns with the overland water supply, please call him.

    On Tuesday, Eagle Rock will be installing an Air Release Valve on the watermain at the corner of Victoria and the lane behind the store. Following that, testing on the installed watermain will begin. Once testing has all passed, which can take a week or more, then Eagle Rock will come back to connect each service and remove the overland water service.

    On Wednesday, an all day shutdown is expected to do some work in Swansea and the lane south of Government. Notices will be provided to affected residents, but we wanted to provide some additional warning. We are doing our best to limit the number of people affected both for this one day shutdown and the overland water servicing that will follow.

    The next larger construction section will be the lane south of Government between Swansea and Victoria. It is planned to begin later next week, but there are a few other smaller jobs to finish up first.

    Preliminary notices have also been provided to homes on Sinclair Avenue and North Street in preparation for the construction that’s to come. This work will start near the store, head to the Community Center and then back towards the highway along North Street. If you have a notice on your door and haven’t contacted anyone yet, we’d appreciate hearing from you.

    Construction is disruptive to a community, and we appreciate everyone’s support through this time as we work to improve the water system.

    If you have any questions or concerns, please call me at the office (250) 489-2791 / toll free 1-888-478-7335 or send me an email (eahlgren@rdek.bc.ca).


  • Construction Update #2 - May 2, 2019

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    Here is last week’s construction summary:

    The watermain along the highway has been mostly installed. There is still some finishing work to be done, including testing before it will be connected to the live watermains.

    Within the community, the contractor, Eagle Rock Construction, has been preparing to install temporary overland water service to homes where needed. This temporary waterline runs along the surfaces providing water – it does cross the road in places, and has been protected with material that does create a hump in the road. This allows the Contractor to shut down and remove the existing watermain which is in the way of installing the new watermain.

    What is Happening This Week:

    This week, Eagle Rock will be installing watermain by the Stolen Church heading south down Victoria, and then west (towards the lake) into the lane between Kootenay and Government. Things can (and have been known to!) change. The other lane slated for replacement is also mostly ready for the temporary overland water service and will follow. (Below is a sketch of the two construction areas, highlighted in yellow)

    That's the quick update on the project front. If you have questions, please contact Elizabeth Ahlgren, RDEK Project Supervisor at eahlgren@rdek.bc.ca or 1-888-478-7335 or 250-489-2791. She is the lead on the project and a fantastic resource.



  • Construction Update #1 - April 23, 2019

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    You may have noticed, our Contractor started last week with digging at various intersections. The construction project was awarded to Eagle Rock Construction out of Kamloops. Last week, they were doing their pre-locates, which means checking where the connections will be made to ensure that what’s in the ground matches what we’re expecting.

    This week, Ironman Directional Drilling (one of Eagle Rock’s subcontractors) will be starting on the installation of the watermain between Highway Drive and North Street. This is expected to take a week or so, depending on ground conditions.

    The timing of Windermere’s connection to the Water Treatment Plant is unknown at the moment. We will send out more information as we know more, but it’s possible that it could be early fall.

    Any questions regarding the project, please contact Elizabeth Ahlgren, P.Eng., RDEK Project Supervisor at eahlgren@rdek.bc.ca or (250) 489-2791.


  • Quick Project Update - February 6, 2019

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    The Windermere Treated Water Project has continued to move forward. Tender documents have been posted for contractors and construction is expected to start in April (weather permitting). With the Strategic Priorities Funding received, the project includes upgrades within the community as well as the connection to the Water Treatment Plant. Within the community, the main areas that will be affected by construction include:

    • Sinclair Ave, from Government St to North St,
    • North St, from Sinclair Ave to Wood Lane,
    • Lane between Selkirk St & Government St, from Swansea Ave to Victoria Ave,
    • Lane between Government St & Kootenay St, from Swansea Ave to Victoria Ave, and
    • Victoria Ave, from the lane between Government St & Kootenay St to the lane between Kootenay St & North St.
    More details will follow as a contractor is selected and the schedule is firmed up.

  • RDEK Adjusts Plans in Light of ALC Decision - March 27, 2018

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    The Agricultural Land Commission’s (ALC) decision to deny the Regional District of East Kootenay’s subdivision application for land containing the Parr Utilities Water Treatment Plant has prompted the RDEK to adjust its plans, but the project remains on track.

    “We had submitted an application to the ALC to subdivide the land so that the RDEK could own both the water treatment plant and the land it sits on. The ALC has denied our application, but has conditionally approved a long-term lease for the land,” explains RDEK Electoral Area F Director and Vice Chair Wendy Booth. “Our focus right now is on working with the property owner to negotiate the terms of a lease agreement and gaining final approvals so we can continue to move the project forward.”

    Although the ALC decision changes the original plan, the RDEK remains committed to working within the new parameters to keep the project on track and meet the terms of the purchase agreement.

    “While not our preferred option, the long-term lease will provide some certainty with regard to the land and will not change our ability to own and operate the water treatment plant itself,” adds Booth. Staff are now working on the lease agreement and adjusting other aspects of the project caused by this setback.

    The RDEK hopes to take over ownership of the plant at the end of May.


  • Windermere Water Upgrade Project Receives $6 Million in Funding - March 9, 2018

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    The Province of BC has just announced the projects approved for funding through the Federal Gas Tax Fund and the Windermere Water Project has received $6 million in funding.

    Today’s announcement will have a huge impact on the Windermere Water Upgrade project. RDEK Chair Rob Gay and Vice Chair Wendy Booth will now begin working with staff to determine how the funds will be used to complete critical infrastructure upgrades and reduce the overall tax impact for property owners on the Windermere Water Upgrade project.

    To see all projects funded through this intake, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/16553

    We will provide the community with more detailed information once we have more specifics on how this amazing news will impact the project; however, we wanted to share this information with you right away as it has JUST been announced.



  • Windermere Water and East Side Water Service Establishment Bylaws Adopted - Nov. 16 2017

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    On the heels of two successful referendums in late October, the RDEK Board of Directors has formally adopted the required bylaws to officially purchase Parr Utilities and move forward with connecting the Windermere Water System.

    “The successful referendums were a huge milestone for the community and now the work begins on the next steps in the process,” says RDEK Electoral Area F Director Wendy Booth.

    The purchase agreement between the RDEK and Windermere Water and Sewer Company for the purchase of Parr Utilities has a closing date of May 31, 2018. “We are still working on a number of approvals and other details prior to taking over operation of the water system, including an ALR application for subdivision and approval from the Comptroller of Water Rights,” says RDEK Engineering Services Manager Brian Funke.

    Another key step in the process will be the design and construction tender. The RDEK hopes engage an engineer this winter.

    “This is a huge project and there are so many pieces in the puzzle,” adds Funke. “As a project team, we will be putting together a plan and we will be communicating with the community every step of the way.”

    The voter turnout for the October referendums was approximately 35%, with 77% voting in favour in the Windermere Water Upgrade referendum and 81% of voters in support in East Side Lake Windermere Water vote. The first ballot was for customers in the Windermere Water Service Area regarding borrowing for the purchase of the water treatment plant. The second ballot related to the establishment of a new water service area that includes Windermere, Timber Ridge and the existing Parr customers.

    The Windermere Water System has been under a Water Quality Advisory since 2006.