Lifting water restrictions – Sept. 15

The VPID Board of Trustees and staff appreciate the diligence with which residents conserved water this summer. Our storage tanks are at 100% and well production has been cut back. Accordingly, we will move from Stage 2 water restrictions to Stage 1 effective September 15 rather than wait until October 1.

Stage 1 allows the attended use of water hoses for activities such as washing cars, boats, houses, decks, sidewalks, etc. For details, please visit: https://vpid.ca/restrictions/

Third Quarter 2021 Update

New well

Source approval for well 19 was received on May 27. The Island Health engineering department requested additional information regarding the VPID Treatment Plant system. We are waiting for their review to be completed. The total cost for well 19 to date is $38,640. 

Spring landowner forum

The second VPID Landowner Forum was held on Saturday, May 8th, 2021. Only 6 landowners attended. In future, the Forum will be held on a mid week evening in the hope of increasing attendance. Notes on the Forum can be found on the VPID web site here: https://vpid.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/2021-05-08_Landowner-Forum_Discussion-Summary_Approved-for-Website.pdf.

Water conservation and metering committee

The Water Conservation and Metering Committee (WaCom) has completed its work and asks that residents review the full report and survey results on the VPID website. Frequently asked questions provide a great start to the consideration of this summer’s projected use, and whether meters are necessary. see the FAQ’s here: https://vpid.ca/frequently-asked-questions/

We’re currently trying to hold to a target of a 15% decrease in water use over the year. December 31st records will tell if that worked. Your conservation efforts are appreciated. Generally, June was a good month, but peaks of up to 19 thousand gallons occurred on two separate days. This approaches the capacity of our wells. We can’t have that happening too frequently without losing reserves, resulting in the same kind of graphing as in 2018 and 2020, when we had to import water. View the graph here: https://vpid.ca/water-storage-level-2/

Surprisingly, those who maintain their own onsite storage collectively manage an almost equivalent amount of storage as at the plant, about 88 thousand gallons. That has increased over the 3 years that we have tracked home storage. Thanks to all 30 of you, for taking the initiative. Hats off especially to Don Barthel for his rainwater harvest of 12 thousand gallons!

Water storage level

Water storage levels have dropped significantly over the month of June to a low of 51%. This is not an acceptable situation to be in at the start of summer. We experienced a large volume of water outflow during the middle of several nights that does not appear to be related to a leak. A reminder to all residents to ensure water hoses are not left unattended and taps are closed when not needed.

Rob Noyes

We are pleased to welcome Rob Noyes to VPID. In order to provide a trained backup for Ian and Phil, Rob began his training in May. Rob brings experience and a skill set developed from years at the Home Hardware and has his EOCP certification for small water systems

Deferral of Stage 2 restrictions until July 6th

Normally we would be in Stage 2 Restrictions, starting May 1st (see our rules here). However because of provincial covid-19 travel restrictions, many part time residents have not been able to come to the island, open their cabin and do some spring cleaning.

So exceptionally this year, the implementation of Stage 2 Restrictions are deferred until two weeks after the travel ban/restrictions are lifted by the Province/Medical Health Officer.

Travel restrictions were lifted on June 21stby the Medical Health Officer, Stage 2 Water Restrictions will be fully reinstated effective July 6th, 2021.

But please, be water-wise.

Update: Second Quarter 2021

New Well #19

Well 19 is progressing. Pump, wiring and piping have been installed in the well. Wiring and piping have been placed and covered in a ditch leading to the container in the Tank Farm. Plumbing and electrical components are attached to the container wall. Plumbing leading to the Treatment Plant is now in place. Information for the source approval is being accumulated and will be sent to the Environmental Health Officer by May 1st, 2021. Initial chemistry and bacteria tests are all good. The expectation is that the well will be on-line by the end of May.

Spring Landowner Forum

The second VPID Landowner Forum is scheduled for Saturday, May 8th, 2021 at 11:00 am. You are required to register in advance for this meeting. Click here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. While registering you’ll be able to suggest topics for discussion.

Water Conservation and Metering Committee

The parameters of the former Metering Committee have changed, and the new name is the Water Conservation and Metering Committee (WaCoM for short), which has expanded to include one more member. A summary of the questions asked from the survey (FAQ) along with answers are now available on this web site at https://vpid.ca/frequently-asked-questions/

Secondary Housing

The Islands Trust is holding town hall meetings to discuss the possibility of allowing secondary housing on all properties. The VPID Board of Trustees is opposed to the concept due to concerns with water shortages and the need to be able to meet the needs of the existing 237 houses and potential future building on 38 empty properties within VPID. A letter to the Islands Trust has been sent voicing concerns and opposition to the concept.

Household Water Warning

A warning that residents may inadvertently be subjected to causing bad water to enter their houses: a charged hose left in the sun has the ability to cause sufficient pressure to force water from the hose to enter the house, resulting in bad tasting water.

New page: Frequently Asked Questions

VPID landowners raised a number of questions about water usage and management in response to our 2021 water meter survey.  The Water Conservation and Metering Committee has summarized a selection of them in a new FAQ page, which is also found under the New Homeowners menu entry.  Hopefully we’ll add some more FAQs in the upcoming months.

Visit it here: Frequently Asked Questions

Metering committee report

     In 2020, the average household consumption in the Village Point Improvement District was 65 US gallons (245 liters) per day per household. We anticipate this average to rise over the years. Several years in a row we had to have water trucked in by the end of summer. This has led to discussions about how to encourage conservation. And one question that has arisen is whether we should install household water meters?

    The VPID board of trustees had set up in November 2020 a committee to investigate this question, including the costs for installation and for operations, the pros and cons of having individual water meters installed for each household, benefits or drawbacks for the community and for the individual homeowner. 

    The committee met 6 times over 3 months, surveyed the homeowners in January (see survey report), and delivered to the board a set of recommendations to the board in a full report in February 2020:

Recommendation 1.
    That the Board adopt the suggested goal of 55 US gallons (208 liters) per connection per day over the upcoming year as a benchmark for our expected efforts at conservation this year.

Recommendation 2.
    That the Board mandate the existing Metering Committee for another year, with revised scope in the terms of reference to focus on educating householders on issues related to water conservation efforts and metering for VPID. These efforts should be informed by the VPID Water Conservation Strategy.

Recommendation 3.
    That the Board set as an agenda item for the AGM of 2022 a referendum on whether VPID should carry out a project which adds meters to every water connection.

Executive Summary

            Subdivision of the area constituting the Village Point Improvement District occurred almost fifty years ago, and there are now over 230 hookups to the community water system; excluding system maintenance, households consumed just under 5,600,000 (U.S.) gallons of treated water in 2020.  Our water is processed through the VPID plant on East-West Road; the rate of system leaks is small, accounting for less than 0.44% of processed water in 2020, for example.  In recent years, water draw has approached the capacity of the VPID wells in the summer months, so that an additional well (#19) will be brought into production in 2021.  If run at capacity, well #19 could take the total VPID water draw toward 7,500,000 gal/yr, easily enough to handle current demand.  However, the preliminary hydrology report in 1974 for the VPID area estimated the productivity of its aquifers at around 8,000,000 gal/yr, meaning that we would be approaching the system limit if we drew this much.

            Water usage per VPID household has gradually declined in the past two decades to about 60 gal/day per household, before jumping to 65 gal/day in 2020.  In an effort to understand their water usage and to learn their conservation strategies, we surveyed a number of water districts on Mayne and neighbouring islands that have installed water meters.  Taking into account the estimated percentage of residences that are occupied full-time (40% for VPID), VPID usage lies somewhat above the trend of nearby districts that have household meters, which span 40 to 115 gal/day per residence.  For 2021, we recommend that VPID adopt an overall target of 55 gal/day per household averaged over all residences, to be achieved through education and individual conservation, a reduction of 15% from 2020.

            Looking beyond 2021, we feel that water usage may need to be managed more actively, and we recommend that VPID discuss the installation of household water meters at its 2022 Annual General Meeting and subsequently put the question to a formal vote of VPID property owners.  Most comparably-sized water districts in the Gulf Islands have already chosen this route: one district on Pender found that water consumption declined by 13% after meters were installed (data from other districts on the effect of metering are not available to us). We canvassed VPID homeowners for their views on meters, and achieved 136 completed responses: most homeowners are in favour of metering, with about 15% strongly opposed.  A plurality favoured paying no more than $500 per installation, and would prefer to see the cost spread over two years.  Sixty percent of respondents already collect rainwater!

Water report 2020

If you are interested in numbers, lots of numbers, read our water report for the year 2020.

In short, over the calendar year, we collected and treated 5.7 million US gallons of water, used a tiny fraction for various purposes, lost some due to leaks (27,000 gallons), and distributed to our homeowners 5.6 million US gallons.

http://vpid.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/VPID-2020-ANNUAL-WATER-REPORT.pdf

Survey on water meters

 In 2020, the average household consumption in the Village Point Improvement District was 65 US gallons per day per household (that is, 245 liters per day). We anticipate this average to rise over the years. Several years in a row we had to have water trucked in by the end of summer. This has led to discussions about how to encourage conservation. And one question that has arisen is whether we should install household water meters?

    The VPID board of trustees has set up a committee to investigate this question, including the costs for installation and for operations, the pros and cons of having individual water meters installed for each household, benefits or drawbacks for the community and for the individual homeowner. 

The committee would like to harvest opinions and suggestions from our 237 homeowners through a survey. This is not a vote.

(This survey is now closed).

You may see a summary of the results here. Or read a longer report here.