San Pareil Water System Frequently Asked Questions
- 1. Why are 41 properties in the northeast corner of San Pareil not connected to the community water system?
To the best of our knowledge, the decision to exclude the properties on Juniper Road, Cypress Road, and parts of Shorewood Drive from the community water system was made in the 1970s. The water system was privately owned and operated at the time, and it's possible that these property owners were content with their own drinking water wells and did not want to pay for community water service.
- 2. Is there enough water to allow more connections?
The addition of 41 homes or approximately 92 people is estimated to increase the annual water demand by 16,600 m3/year (approximately 15%), to a total of 128,500 m3/year. Historical operating records indicate that the San Pareil Water System has produced up to 137,600 m3/year. In this regard, the existing water supply is deemed to be adequate to support the addition of the 41 unserviced properties.
- 3. Is there a plan to connect these 41 properties?
A number of owners from these unserviced properties have expressed interest in joining the community water system. A group project was defeated in 2019 to expand the existing boundaries of the San Pareil Water Service area. Less than 50% of the 41 property owners agreed to pay an equal share of the costs to construct watermains in the roadway.
- 4. How do I join the community water system?
The process to join the community water system is two-fold:
- Property owners of unserviced properties may contact the RDN for an individual (confidential) petition to join the water service area; and
- The property owner(s) would be required to pay the entire costs of extending water service to their property, including design engineering, excavation, permits, materials, restoration, paving, and more.
- 5. What is a petition?
A petition is the formal means of applying to the RDN to extend the boundaries of the existing San Pareil Water Service Area. The petition includes the method of cost recovery for water service, and any other pertinent information prescribed in the Local Government Act.
- 6. Why do property owners have to pay for the watermain construction costs, doesn’t the RDN have the money?
The RDN does not have a general expense account for construction of watermains in new areas. In the Regional District, the cost of a service is paid for directly by the benefitting participants only. The RDN would not charge the existing San Pareil Water Service Area customers the costs to install water mains in new areas.
- 7. Can you explain the capital charge of $7,386.30?
The value of the existing water system assets has been used to calculate a fair “buy-in” cost to new water system customers, called a Capital Cost Charge. This charge, of $7,386.30 per property, was adopted by the RDN Board of Directors in January 2019 and will be payable by all property owners who join the community water system in the future.
- 8. Would my taxes go up?
Yes. There is a parcel tax for water service which would be charged to all the new properties included in the expanded service area. This parcel tax is used to pay for the daily operation and maintenance, and eventual replacement costs of the existing water system. In 2018, the parcel tax for San Pareil Water was $480/yr per property. A separate parcel tax for repayment of the fire-fighting upgrades is already being charged to all San Pareil residents.
- 9. Can we defer our parcel taxes?
Maybe. There are a number of property tax deferral programs available through the Province of British Columbia, including ones for persons over 55, persons with disabilities, and for families with children. More information about the provincial Property Tax Deferral Program is available on the web at www.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/property-taxes/annual-property-tax/defer-taxes or through a Service BC Office. Semi-annual metered water use charges cannot be deferred (see next question).
- 10. Are there other costs once a property has been included in the San Pareil Water Service Area?
Yes. Each property connected to the San Pareil Water System will be fitted with a water meter at the curb. Water meters are read by RDN staff twice per year, in May and September. The water usage charges would appear on an RDN Utility Invoice, around June and October of each year. A typical San Pareil household pays $150 - $250 for 6 months of water use.
In addition to the water main construction that would be required in the roadway, property owners would also be required to install a water service line across their own property to connect their home to the (potential) new water main. Property owners are responsible for the costs to hire a backhoe contractor and install this water service line. This area has a high potential for undocumented archaeological sites. Residents are advised that the Heritage Conservation Act must be followed. Questions regarding the permitting requirements for private property can be directed to the provincial archaeology branch at ph. 250-953-3334.