Fort St. John doesn’t foresee water restrictions this year

The rural bulk water station in Fort St. John.

The City of Fort St. John doesn’t anticipate putting restrictions on water use this summer.

Victor Shopland, the city’s integrated services manager, says the city’s water consumption has stayed “fairly flat” despite its growing population.

“2006 was a peak year for water use,” Shopland told councillors at Tuesday’s council meeting.

“We initiated water metering, and we see how quickly (use) has dropped off.”

Shopland acknowledged the city’s water treatment plant is reaching the higher end of its capacity, but can still meet the needs of the city if a crisis doesn’t happen to force the city to change track.

“We should be OK without having to go into restrictions,” he said.

A crisis could include a major infrastructure at either the city’s pump stations or treatment plant. An extreme drought event would also have an impact, Shopland added, noting that the city saw a spike in water use last summer due to dry conditions.

A 50 year growth study presented to council on Tuesday reported the water treatment plant is already at capacity, and was built to serve only about 17,800 people. The city currently has to draw on reservoir reserves to meet daily peak demands as its population has surpassed that point, according to the report.

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