Northern Sunrise customers granted one-time water rebate

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

Customers in Northern Sunrise County will each be receiving a $75 credit on their water bills for bad water the last few months.
Council agreed on the one-time credit at their Oct. 12 meeting after considering four options presented by administration.
The first option, which was approved, applies a $75 credit to each of the County’s 671 customers totaling $50,325.
The second option applied a 50 per cent rebate [one month] of the base cost to metered accounts and rebate all non-commercial truckfills drawn from Aug. 15 to Sept. 15. The option left about $20,000 in available rebate to be determined by council for further distribution.
The third option included the second option plus a 1.66 multiplier resulting in a $70.55 to metered customers and truckfill users rebated 66 per cent greater than the actual purchase value.
The fourth option was to rebate $50,000 less a reserve for demonstrably high impacted users.
Council agreed at its Sept. 28 meeting to refund its customers a $50,000 credit provided by their water provider, NEW water Ltd. after problems arose in late summer with discoloured and foul-smelling water.
“I like Option 1,” said Cadotte Lake – Little Buffalo Councillor Gaylene Whitehead.
“[Customers] should get the full rebate.”
“I like Option 1 or Option 3, my preference is Option 1,” said Marie Reine – Judah Councillor Dan Boisvert.
St. Isidore Councillor Norm Duval and Reeve Carolyn Kolebaba also agreed.
“It’s easiest for administration to get it done,” said Duval.
“Option 1 is the easiest and best option,” added Kolebaba.
NEW water is also providing credits of $6,750 to the Lubicon Lake Band, $10,000 to the Village of Nampa and $20,000 to Woodland Cree First Nation. It is up to each of those government to decide how to deal with the money.
NEW water’s board of directors met Sept. 23 to hear what happened regarding the water. The first problem arose Aug. 4 when an overfeed of chlorine occurred at the water treatment plant. The higher than usual dose upset the balance ratio of chlorine to ammonia which resulted in odour and taste issues. The problem has since been fixed.
The second issue was an algae bloom in the reservoir that occurred from the extremely hot weather during the summer. As a result, water was pulled from the river intake into the plant for treatment which resulted in the removal of the odour and poor taste thereby bypassing the reservoir. The problem is the entire lines throughout the system needed to be flushed before improvement occurred.
NEW water added in its letter that at all times the water was safe for consumption despite the smell and passed all provincial testing.

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