The City of Fernie water system currently relies upon Fairy Creek as its main water source for serving the municipality and West Fernie. The Fairy Creek source is essentially a spring that is enclosed by a structure that directs water into a pipeline that supplies the system. The water is chlorinated and then piped to residents for consumption.
James White Well
The City of Fernie experiences water quality issues each year- typically during spring freshet between April and June, which potentially results in the need for residents to boil their drinking water before its consumption. The City is planning to use two new production wells installed within James White Park to provide safe drinking water quality throughout the year. The new wells are intended to be used for approximately three months (April through June) during the freshet and potentially on other occasions if the main source water quality becomes low. While in operation the well’s water will be extracted at a rate not to exceed 200 liters per second.
The project consists of two well houses in James White Park containing the new production wells, a well control facility located adjacent to the City of Fernie Main Sewage Lift Station in James White Park, and a new water main connecting the pumped water to the existing water system.
Use of the wells was conditional on receiving an Environmental Assessment Certificate approved by the BC Ministry of Environment in keeping with the BC Environmental Assessment Act. This Environmental Assessment Certificate was granted to the City in November 2015. The information about the Environmental Assessment process and the official certificate are available online at https://projects.eao.gov.bc.ca/p/james-white-park-wells/detail.
The City is continuing work to ensure that all 23 conditions of the Environmental Assessment Certificate are being met. As commissioning moves closer, the City is committed to ensuring that well owners and water tenure holders adjacent to the James White Park Wells (within in an approximate 3km radius) will not be negatively impacted during times when the new production wells are in operation. As conditions of the Environmental Assessment Certificate mentioned above, a Well Owner and Surface Water Tenure Holder Engagement Plan, an Aquifer Monitoring Plan and a Surface Water Management Plan were created. The City will be following the commitments in these reports which include detailed procedures and frequencies to test water quality and quantity in a large variety of monitoring locations. The monitoring locations will include, the Elk River, Coal Creek, Brewery Creek, the City’s 6 monitoring wells spread throughout James White Park and the City, and the 8 private wells identified as the highest risk for potential impact.
The construction of the wells and associated facilities is nearing completion and the City of Fernie is preparing for the operational phase of this project in 2018.
If you have any questions about this project, please contact Jenny Dickhout, Engineering Department at 250-423-2227.
- Aquifer Monitoring Plan
- Surface Water Monitoring Plan
- Operational Pumping Test Plan
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Well Owner and Surface Water Tenure Holder Engagement Plan
- Operational Pumping Test Plan - Coming Soon!
- James White Park Well Field Protection Plan - Coming Soon!
Water Quality (Turbidity)
The City of Fernie measures turbidity levels on an ongoing basis and publishes the Water Quality Ratings each day.
What does a FAIR rating mean?
A Fair rating (Water Quality Advisory) is a notice that the City of Fernie will issue if turbidity levels exceed 1 NTU. Children, the elderly, people with weakened immune systems, and anyone seeking additional protection drink will be advised to drink boiled water or a safe alternative.
What does a POOR rating mean?
A Poor rating (Boil Water Notice) is a notice we will issue if turbidity levels exceed 5 NTU’s. All users will be advised to drink boiled water or a safe alternative.
Turbidity? What is it and how does it affect me?
Public Facilities [PDF - 200 KB] If you Serve the Public you need to know this!
If you wish to receive automatic email updates on water quality please contact City Hall or call 250.423.6817 to register.
Water Shut Off
To request a temporary water shut off please contact City Hall at (250) 423-6817. The cost is $12 to shut the water off, and an additional $12 to turn it back on. Please pay the Water On/Off fee at City Hall and allow 24 hours notice to schedule the work unless it is an emergency.
New Utility Services? Contact City Hall for information regarding a New Water or Sewer Service Connection.
Would you like information on the following?
- Water Quality Analysis [PDF - 70 KB]
- WaterSmart [PDF - 1.2 MB]
- WaterSmart 2009-2012 Data Review and Actions Summary Report
- Columbia Basin Trust Fernie WaterSmart Link