By Mike Pearson, News staff
A new water tower could be the fix for Ancaster’s problematic water pressure, but a $6-millon price tag was difficult to swallow for Ancaster Councillor Lloyd Ferguson.
The water tower, also called an elevated water reservoir, will work in conjunction with an existing pumping station at Garner and Glancaster Roads, distributing water to Ancaster households. Ancaster’s water currently travels from Lake Ontario to the city’s Woodward Avenue water treatment plant. From there, the water is pumped over the escarpment to the Garner Road pumping station.
Udo Ehrenberg, city manager of infrastructure and source water planning, said some areas of Ancaster are struggling to meet the minimum water pressure standard of 40 pounds per square inch.
“It’s pedal to the metal 24-7 just to maintain marginal service in the problematic areas,” Ehrenberg told the Ancaster Community Committee at its September meeting.
In addition to improved water pressure, Ehrenberg said an elevated reservoir helps to mitigate water loss, lessen the chance of water main breakages, lower energy costs and reduce maintenance expenses.
But Ferguson questioned the estimated price tag, which includes land costs, construction, design and permit fees.
“I think it will take a long time to pay for six million bucks,” said Ferguson.
At Ferguson’s request, Ehrenberg pledged to provide an estimate of cost savings in time for a public information centre on Tuesday.
Residents are invited to attend the first of two public meetings, beginning on Sept. 25 at 5 p.m. at the Ancaster Library, Murray Ferguson Room. A staff presentation will begin at 6 p.m. and residents will have an opportunity to submit comments to the project team.
City staff will conduct a municipal class environmental assessment to determine a location for the proposed water tower. Ehrenberg said city staff will seek a location away from a residential area but within close proximity to the existing trunk infrastructure to minimize costs.
Following the first round of public consultation, a second public information centre will be held next spring. A final plan is expected to be ready for a 30-day public review period by the Fall of 2013.