The City of Kamloops is working with a consultant to study the Noble Creek water system.
City utility services manager Greg Wightman said an engineering firm will delve deeper into the system’s life expectancy, rate structure, capital maintenance requirements and whether the system could be run differently.
“We had some real high-level cost estimates,” Wightman said. “This is going to give us some finer detail.”
The city had earlier put the 36 property owners serviced by the system — south of Dairy Road to the northern end of city limits — on notice after the previous council directed staff behind closed doors to transfer the system to its users, sell the system or stop using the system and decommission it.
Those relying on the system include Privato Vineyard and Winery and Thistle Farm, the 10-acre organic produce farm owned by Coun. Dieter Dudy and wife Deb Kellogg.
(Dudy has recused himself from discussing the water system issue at council due to a conflict of interest.)
The half-century-old system requires upgrades and runs at a loss every year, when utilities are required to pay for themselves. Other complications include questionable water levels and stock water being provided outside of the scope of city’s water licence.
The system has about three-dozen active hookups. Winter stock water, which is relied on by a handful of farms in the area, was set to be shut off this September, but council delayed it by two years so staff can gather additional information on the operation of the system.
The fate of irrigation in the area remains in limbo. Wightman said the consultant will work with city staff and the water system users, with information gathered into a summary report for council.
That report is expected in the second quarter of 2020.