The water distribution system in West Fernie was constructed in 1955. At the same time, the West Fernie Waterworks District (WFWD) was created and an agreement with the City of Fernie to supply water was established.
The water system is now more than 50 years old and is deteriorating, resulting in a number of repairs each year. The City of Fernie and the WFWD have placed a moratorium on new water connections due to the current state of the water system. There is concern that the poor condition of the water distribution system may make it susceptible to contamination from onsite sewage disposal and modelling has indicated that the flows do not meet the level required for fire protection.
There is no community sanitary sewer system in West Fernie. Development is currently served by on-site sanitary water treatment and disposal systems. There is concern about the potential for environmental contamination of the ground and surface water because of the aging septic tanks, small lots , flood plain limit and the seasonal drainage and saturated soil conditions.
The lack of storm water management is a major issue in West Fernie. The area south of Highway 3 has no storm water services and is located in a flood plain with runoff and groundwater issues. Many homes are located at elevations lower than or equal to the Elk River and encounter seasonal flooding.
The community has approved the West Fernie Servicing & Restructure Project, which consists of three interdependent components:
- Servicing: Providing/improving water, sewer and stormwater sewer services, and road upgrades
- Financing: Borrowing money and securing grants to pay for servicing improvements
- Governance Restructure: Joining the City of Fernie
The West Fernie Servicing & Restructure Project is being done in 2 phases. The engineering services contract for both phases has been awarded to the Kerr Wood Leidal / MPE Engineering Team. They will be responsible for the engineering design and construction management, including tendering, construction inspections and contract management.
At its March meeting, the RDEK Board awarded the construction contract for Phase 1 to Dawson Construction Ltd. They will be installing servicing to the area on the southeast side of Highway 3.
In 2016, we expect construction of Phase 1 to be substantially completed. It is anticipated that construction in the Phase 2 area will get underway in the spring of 2017.
This website is your one-stop source for all information related to the West Fernie Servicing and Restructure project.