Rethink this expensive water treatment plant

Author questions the sincerity and knowledge pushing Ashcroft's water treatment plant.

Dear Editor

I would like to comment on the spending of $10 million, could be $15 million with cost overruns and material costs going higher or the 40 per cent loss of buying power because of the games being played by the stupid market forces. With our small population and vast resources our money should be the highest in the world.

First, let’s look at why we are doing this. The head waters of our supply is a fairly big lake that gets lots of sun. The rays do a good job of treating the water. Then it flows over rough areas and this adds oxygen, making it fresh.

I was really disturbed by the report from Interior Health. First of all, he did not give any evidence that our water is dangerous only that there was a potential of protozoa. I take exception to his statement that Interior Health could order the village to go more than $4 million in debt on the whim of some civil servant. Civil servants are misnamed. They are seldom civil and agree to be your servant. Interior Health are the same people that gutted our hospital and made us travel an hour or more in the case of an emergency. Also the same people that cannot organize the parking at the Kamloops hospital.

I would like to also say that I believe it should go automatically to referendum before village council can put the village in debt for 30 years. Is someone putting pressure on them not to put it to a vote? We should not have to jump through a bunch of hoops to get a vote on this serious issue.

Having said all this I realize that there is potential for a problem. It cannot be too serious as the $10 million plant will not be up and running until 2018 or 2019.

Let’s look at other options. We have water suppliers in the area that even deliver to your door if need be. The treatment plant that is proposed has to be big enough to handle all the water and it is not realistic to treat the water used for washing and irrigation. But we could cut holes in the top of the water tanks and put in UV lights. This would give a longer exposure than the plant hs to offer. If there is turbidity in the spring, a filter for your drinking water will clean it up. We use a britta filter and change it three or four times a year – cost about $20.

The salesman from Urban Systems did not seem very knowledgeable about the bunch of junk he is trying to unload on the village council. It is questionable if the filter system will work. We only have his say so. I heard him say that his equipment  would last 20 years. So we would have to replace it before it is paid for. He said the river water quality is good, making it easy to treat. If there are protozoa, and we oly have their word for it, why are we waiting two or three years to do something about it? We only ave their word that giving a quick exposure to UV light will do the job. If that is the case, UV lights on top of the water tanks should do a better job, and could be done for less than one year payment on the system being offered. We are always being advised to be aware of scams, this looks like a big scam to me.

Why are the federal and provincial governments pushing this? It is a make work project and not about water quality. If they were concerned about water quality, why are they allowing fracking that is destroying the ground water and causing earthquakes?

A writer for the Vancouver Sun wrote that he came from a small town in Saskatchewan where they could not afford a village idiot to everybody had to take their turn. Let’s not all take our turn at the same time and let them put us in debt. We all heard about the troubles in Greece when they let their leaders borrow huge sums to build a bridge from one island to another and put them so far in debt that they cannot pay it back so they have to borrow more to keep going. We don’t want to end in the same way.

Go to the village office and file your disapproval. Make sure this scan promoted by the paraside, predator money lenders is put to a vote. We will then know if they can get away with putting the village in debt for 30 years and may have to keep going back for more loans as the people of Greece have to.

Charles Allen Winslow

Ashcroft