Big Lakes County planning to expand rural water service

Richard Froese
For the Lakeside Leader

A policy for Big Lakes County to expand rural potable water service to residential and business properties has been presented to council.

Council heard the details at its Feb. 14 meeting, but put off discussion on it decision until Feb. 28, when more council members would be in attendance.

The proposal is for the M.D. to provide water directly to the tap, says a report from engineer consultant Trent McLaughlin, co-owner of T&L Engineering. It calls for more intakes for connections, which would help with the economy of the entire system.

“The policy will be fair, as all owners who receive water will pay the same to get water,” the report says. “The connection fee is still affordable and should encourage people to connect to the water system, especially those who live close to their property line.”

The report further proposes that the county would have more control of the system, to ensure the connections inside the home are constructed and maintained properly. It would allow council to set separate rates for rural residents and for developers creating multi-lot subdivisions or commercial operations.

“The two rates have been set because council may not want to subsidize developers and commercial connections the same as rural residential connections,” says the report, “as you would not want people profiting from the subsidy.”

Access to potable water, the report continues, is important to the health of people and its availability will encourage development and promote the growth of the county.

The policy will be advertised annually, to provide an opportunity for residents to be connected to the rural water system and to be aware of procedure.

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