Completion of Alpine Meadows Water Main Replacement Project, Olympic Reservoir Reconstruction Project, Alpine Reservoir Level Control Project and improvements to Rainbow Lake Trail to protect 21 Mile Creek watershed
The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) has completed several initiatives to improve water infrastructure around Whistler.
"Whistler's water is a critical local resource and the recent RMOW initiatives improve the delivery of drinking water and ensure its continued high quality. We are looking forward to additional investments to our water system through the plans for 2017 and beyond,” said Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden.
Alpine Meadows Water Main Replacement Project completion
The Alpine Meadows water main replacement work is complete and work will be done during summer 2017 to repave municipal roads in the Alpine Meadows neighbourhood. Replacing the old water main has many benefits to residents. The new water main improves water quality, water pressure and flow, reduces leakage, reduces energy and chemical use and increases the long-term security of the neighbourhood’s water supply. Five additional fire hydrants were installed as part of this project.
If you are a homeowner in Alpine Meadows, and are interested in paying to have your utility lines underground, please visit the Municipal Paving Project for details.
Completion of Olympic Reservoir Reconstruction Project on Whistler Mountain
A new concrete Singing Pass Reservoir has replaced the Olympic Reservoir on Whistler Mountain, and the Fitzsimmons Valve Station at the Gondola Transit Exchange has also been completed. The Singing Pass Reservoir has two cells, which facilitates cleaning and inspection because one cell can be drained while the other cell remains functional.
The RMOW’s new drinking water reservoir was necessary because the previous Olympic Reservoir was near the end of its life, did not meet current seismic structural standards and was showing signs of deterioration. The Olympic Reservoir will be decommissioned this year.
Alpine Reservoir Level Control Project
New valves were installed to control water supply to Alpine Meadows residents from both wells and 21 Mile Creek. An altitude valve has been installed at the Alpine reservoir site in a new kiosk and a butterfly valve was installed in a new above-ground kiosk located at Nicklaus North to automatically switch from supplying water from 21 Mile Creek, to supplying water from groundwater wells, especially during times of high runoff when the 21 Mile Creek water is turbid. These new valves reduce energy consumption by using the creek’s gravity supply of water, rather than pumping water from wells.
The Alpine Reservoir Level Control Project required the installation of valves, electrical works, piping, and water main connections.
Rainbow Lake Trail improvements underway to protect 21 Mile Creek watershed
Rainbow Lake Trail has been improved to protect the 21 Mile Creek watershed. The RMOW Parks and Trails Department rerouted part of the trail away from the watershed’s wetlands, added signage, and constructed a boardwalk and new outhouses.
The Rainbow Lake Trail improvements were required by the 21 Mile Creek Source Water Protection Plan that defines how Whistler’s main source of drinking water will be protected from recreational visitors to the area and supports the long-term sustainability of the surface water resource. 21 Mile Creek is the source of between 45 and 55 per cent of Whistler’s drinking water.
The Rainbow Lake Trail is considered a day hike, but some overnight camping occurs in the surrounding areas outside the watershed. While camping is prohibited within the watershed, existing camping areas just beyond Rainbow Lake at Hanging Lake will be retained and future recreational development will focus on minimizing the chance of water contamination, such as with upgraded toilet facilities, trail maintenance to reduce erosion, frequent trail ranger patrols and public outreach.
This Source Water Protection Plan is required by the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority as a condition of the RMOW’s permit to operate the 21 Mile Creek water supply. The 21 Mile Creek watershed area is under the stewardship of the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Vancouver Coastal Health Authority and the RMOW. The area is defined as a Wildland Zone under the Sea to Sky Land Resource Management Plan.