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The City of Fort St. John is looking at long-term plans to upgrade its water system.

City Staff presented an extensive report on the city’s current water structure, including several recommendations on improvements.

Staff announced that the overall final goal is to transform the city’s supply to a closed-mesh system.

Currently, the City runs on an open-mesh system, and some water flows to ‘dead ends’ in the city. Director of Infrastructure and Capital Works Victor Shopland says the water tends to sit in an open-mesh system.

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Councilors discussed the issue with staff at the Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday afternoon.

Fort St. John Fire Chief Fred Burrows was also in attendance. He says the Fire Department would prefer a closed-mesh system because the current arrangement is not as efficient.

Burrows mentioned that the city’s open mesh system heavily affected the fire department’s work on the Fort Hotel fire and the Formula Powell fire.

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City Manager Diane Hunter says while the is fully able to service Fort St. John needs, the city still needs to look at long-term solutions to the weak areas in the structure.

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In the end, Councilors unanimously approved, in principle, a 15 year Capital Program to convert the water distribution system into a closed mesh system. The upgrades will be chosen on an annual basis, beginning in 2010.

Mayor Bruce Lantz says this will now come forward to a regular council meeting in the future, which will allow for further discussion on the issue.

For a copy of the Fire Protection Study that was presented to council, Click Here

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