City OKs Canfor’s Water Treatment Plant
Landscape plan shows lagoon site, new berms and extra landscaping on site – image courtesy City of Prince George
Prince George, B.C.- Canfor has been granted a rezoning of three pieces of property along PG Pulpmill Road to create a water treatment plant.
The problem from Canfor’s perspective is that it draws its water from the Nechako River, and in the spring, when there has been heavy run off, that water carries a lot of silt. That means both Intercon and P.G. Pulp have to up the chemicals they use to clean the water used for the pulpmaking process.
The company says the water treatment plant will clean the water, the silt would be diverted to a lagoon, once the water is clean it would reduce the company’s water consumption as well as its use of chemicals. The cleaning of the water would also improve the fire protection system at the mills as Canfor says sometimes, when they flush their fire system, the water is loaded with silt.
Once the lagoon is full, the material will be trucked to the mill sites and will be used as fill.
The site will be fenced, and will have an improved gate system to improve security on the site
Area residents are not too happy with the proposal, citing concerns the site would become an eyesore in an area that is designated rural residential. The landscape plan calls for a berm to shield the site works from the roadway and will increase some greenery.
Another concern was the amount of water the pump might pull from the groundwater and the impact that might have on local wells. Canfor says the new treatment plant will mean the company won’t have to pull as much clean water from its deep well because it would have enough water from the new system that pulls and cleans water from the river.
Councillor Jillian Merrick says she sees this project as a “win win” as it will be better for the environment and will draw less water from the ground water. Councillor Albert Koehler echoed her comments.
What was clear in this public hearing is that Canfor should have done more outreach with the neighbours as some complained they had only heard about the proposal a little over a week ago.
Council has unanimously supported the rezoning.