March 4, 2021 — The Peace River Regional District (PRRD) Electoral Area Directors Committee is recommending that the PRRD Regional Board authorize closure and ceasing of operations of the Rose Prairie potable water bulk fill station at its upcoming March 11 meeting.
The water station, located in Electoral Area B, had been scheduled to open on February 21. Prior to the opening, explosive levels of gas were detected in the air within the treatment storage tank and the well casing. The opening was cancelled and further testing during the following week revealed continued levels of gas within the casing. Low levels of oxygen were detected at the floor and ceiling areas of the pump house.
“We acknowledge that this is disappointing to many area residents, who have been waiting for some time for a reliable source of clean drinking water in that area,” says Electoral B Area Director Karen Goodings. “The Committee is also recommending that the Board of Directors authorize a feasibility study in the Rose Prairie area to identify other areas, with treatable surface or ground water sources, where a new water station could be established.”
Before the planned opening date no trace of gas had ever been detected at the station. The information from the site operator and the BC Oil & Gas Commission, who both conducted further testing, indicates that the water chemistry changed between February 19 and the planned opening date to the point where operational risk was determined.
The Electoral Area Directors Committee is also recommending to the Regional Board that staff organize a virtual town hall meeting with Rose Prairie and area residents so the PRRD can hear from them directly and share information. If that recommendation is approved by the Regional Board, the meeting will be held in late March.
Jeff McDonald, Communications Manager