2.621 Water - Highland / Fernwood - SSI
The Highland-Fernwood Water System provides drinking water to a local water service area on Salt Spring Island consisting of approximately 334 lots. The system obtains its drinking water from St. Mary Lake near the northern end of Salt Spring Island.
In 2011, a new water treatment plant was constructed to combine the Highland-Fernwood water treatment systems to better address the conditions experienced in St. Mary Lake including frequent algal blooms.
In 1981, the CRD Board was requested to hold a referendum to establish a water supply system covering an existing Waterworks District area (Highland Estates and Maliview Estates) of Salt Spring Island. The referendum passed, and the CRD Board adopted Bylaw No 847 which established a service to acquire and improve, operate and maintain a water supply and distribution system called the Salt Spring Island Highland Water System service. The CRD assumed the assets and liabilities of the Waterworks District and commenced operating the Service.
In 1989, the CRD Board was requested by petition from the property owners, to establish a water supply system covering the Fernwood Waterworks District (1963) area. In 1990 the CRD Board adopted Bylaw No 1772 which established a service to operate the supply, conveyance, treatment, storage and distribution of water, called the Fernwood Water Supply Service. In 1990, the CRD assumed the assets and liabilities of the Waterworks District and commenced operating the Service.
The Fernwood and Highland water systems are now being operated and administered jointly. CRD Bylaw No 3753 Highland and Fernwood Water Service Establishment, adopted by the CRD Board in 2011 authorizes the operation and administration of the "combined" service. The service continues to be authorized under Bylaw No 3753.
A Commission, made up of local residents and property owners, and the SSI Electoral Area Director, provides community input for the delivery of the water service. This service is managed and operated by the CRD Integrated Water Services Department.
The budget for this service is established through an annual CRD Financial Planning process, and is funded by connection charges and then through annual parcel taxes and water user fees levied in the service area.