As White Rock government splashes taxpayer money around in efforts to convince the great unwashed that water quality is priority one, they divert attention away from one simple fact. There is a good chance that local government has not done proper due diligence during the purchasing process. Once that possibility is duly appreciated, the relationship between mysterious water conditions and current management may be of more interest to the water-consuming public.
Due diligence requires execution to a “standard of care”. A standard is an arguable, philosophic concept except where it is spelled out in legal terms.
Regardless, some facts are pertinent.
Epcor discontinued the stated White Rock Utility goal of having no pipes over 25 years of age.
Once the disinfection mandate was in place, huge sections of the distribution system were likely close to worthless. Only due diligence by experienced organic chemists could have canvassed that possibility.
Were they consulted? You may well ask.
Local government is buying a utility whose price should factor in a highly depreciated distribution system.
The system may likely need major upgrades no matter what the source water. Meanwhile does government believe that tweaking and flushing will be the only work needed on the existing pipe system, given the stated desire to stick to heavy metal groundwater?
If the price is still being negotiated or in any part still to be arbitrated, will Epcor claim it is White Rock’s level of competence in their chemistry experiments that is causing problems, not the piping system ?
Figures floated to the public constitute no proof that treating heavy metal well water is going to cost less than paying to join the Metro Vancouver water system.
There is no proof on offer that piping will not be an ongoing problem even with arsenic and manganese removed from the groundwater at source.
There is no proof on offer that grant money would not be available to both join the Metro water system and upgrade the piping system. Or that the Metro entry fee could not be arbitrated just as it will likely be with Semiahmoo First Nation.
Were any of these proofs sought after and manifest in evidentiary form, were they now the subject of public rather than secret debate, one might suppose that local government had performed a certain level of due diligence.
David Riley – Founding Member,
The White Rock Safe Water Alliance