The Englishman River Water Treatment Plant on Herring Gull Way in Parksville. (Regional District of Nanaimo photo)

Englishman River Water Service considers 2022-26 budget for preventative maintenance program

Program to help reduce unplanned maintenance activities, emergency repairs and service disruptions

At the Englishman River Water Service Joint Venture Management Board meeting on Monday, Dec. 13, the director of operations for the City of Parksville, Belinda Woods, presented the service management committee report.

Woods went over budget costs for a preventative maintenance program for 2022-26.

The objective of the preventative maintenance program is to extend and improve the performance, safety and life of the equipment and to reduce any unplanned maintenance activities, emergency repairs and service disruptions.

READ MORE: $41.7-million Englishman River water treatment plant opens in Parksville

“Preventative maintenance is insurance that bad things don’t happen. It’s also the most cost effective way to keep the plant running,” said Woods. “It’s critical for us to keep up to date with preventative maintenance. Not doing so can have severe impacts and costly ramifications.”

She said in their previous budget, $100,000 for 2022-23 was requested with $50,000 thereafter for 2024-26. The increased budget in the first two years is to help establish the maintenance system and schedule.

City staff have also come up with an alternative option, Woods said, that doesn’t involve front-loading the first two years and instead only budgeting $50,000 per year for 2022-26, a deduction of $100,000 overall from the initial request.

“One of the risks that we have with that is, if we defer our maintenance, we leave the plant potentially vulnerable to emergency repairs and possible service disruptions,” she said. “Recent events in other parts of B.C. will show that when we don’t give all that we can to our preventative maintenance programs, we might be regretting it come future.”

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