The water booster pump station for the Crofton alternate water supply located alongside Osborne Bay Road. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Crofton water switched to back-up system

Significant break to the main Catalyst system requires changeover without boil water advisory

The Crofton alternate water supply has come in handy already.

Just completed last June as a back-up system, it had to be put into operation Thursday when there was a significant water main break on the Catalyst Paper Excellence mill water line on Somenos Road in Duncan, near Mount Prevost Road and just north of Highway 18.

The break was expected to take five to seven days to repair.

According to North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring, the switch was immediately made to the new back-up line for the Crofton water supply via the Osborne Bay Road pumping station.

“The switchover is the first time we’ll actually be using that new back-up line, and it should mean that for the first time, Crofton will be on a back-up water supply that will not precipitate a ‘boil water advisory’ as has been standard practice with previous incidents involving the primary supply line to the mill,” explained Siebring in a Facebook post.

The Crofton Alternate Water Supply Project was funded through the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund, with the Government of Canada contributing $1.56 million, the Province $1.03 million, and North Cowichan $528,230. The $3.12 million project included construction of roughly 3.2 kilometres of water main and the water booster pump station that connects the Crofton water supply to North Cowichan’s South End water system, as well as installation of fire hydrants along Osborne Bay Road.

Water supply has long been an issue in Crofton. The poorer-quality Crofton Lake reservoir was previously the back-up water supply to the main Catalyst Crofton mill water source, but that meant residents needed to boil their water before usage.

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North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring addresses the gathering at the Maple Mountain parking lot during the Crofton Alternate Water Supply Project opening June 18, 2019. (Photo by Don Bodger)

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