Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon MP Jati Sidhu, Harrison Hot Springs mayor Leo Facio and Kent-Chilliwack MLA Laurie Throness gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday. The village has received $2.29 million from the provincial and federal government to upgrade municipal water services. Nina Grossman/The Observer

Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon MP Jati Sidhu, Harrison Hot Springs mayor Leo Facio and Kent-Chilliwack MLA Laurie Throness gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday. The village has received $2.29 million from the provincial and federal government to upgrade municipal water services. Nina Grossman/The Observer

Harrison breaks ground on water upgrade

Water system infrastructure improvements to be complete by March 2018

The village of Harrison Hot Springs announced a major water upgrade project on Tuesday.

Using a combination of village, provincial and federal funding, Harrison will receive a $2.29 million water distribution upgrade to replace above-ground reservoir water supply, expand water distribution systems into more residential neighbourhoods, and ultimately provide municipal water to approximately 100 homes.

“Our council is proud of the fact that, through careful planning and by sourcing important infrastructure funding, we are able to provide our residents with safe, affordable drinking water,” said Harrison Mayor Leo Facio in a speech.

“[The project] supports the official community plan goal to expand the community’s water system, an economically sustainable water system where costs are shared over a larger tax base to provide good economic value to the community as a whole,” he said.

The village of Harrison has been working on water-system upgrades for a number of years, with the water storage reservoir upgraded in 2013 and the water treatment plant upgraded in 2014.

Currently, water supply and return lines in the village are above ground and vulnerable to natural disasters. These vital lines connect the treatment plant to the reservoir and, under the new project, will be completely replaced.

Water distribution upgrades will see systems expanded to include more residential neighbourhoods, including Angus Estates, Emerald Avenue, Diamond Street, Pine Avenue and Lakberg Crescent.

Harrison’s funding is part of a larger provincial-federal investment called the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund. The fund will provide approximately $310 million to 144 projects in B.C. Boston Bar is receiving nearly $88,000 for water system upgrades.

Kent-Chilliwack MLA Laurie Throness emphasized the economic significance of the project.

“Communities in B.C. depend on our water infrastructure for all kinds of applications,” he said. “This is certainly true for those in Harrison Hot Springs and Boston Bar. These investments will create economic opportunities through jobs while increasing access to essential resources.”

According to the village of Harrison, engineering work is complete and the tendering process is underway. Facio estimates the project will be complete in March 2018.

He says Harrison Hot Springs is applying for federal funds to extend the upgraded water services to the remainder of the community.