2019 is the year we decide our water’s future

Top 5 New Year’s Resolutions for Union Bay: 

1.  Regain the majority of the Union Bay Water Board (UBID) on Saturday April 13, 2019 with election of two Trustees who will make decisions regarding the cost of our water treatment plant and water infrastructure which are based on facts and are of financial benefit to landowners.  (Advance vote: Tuesday April 2, 2019)

2.  Landowners must be told by current UBID Board what the estimated cost of borrowing is for the New Water Treatment Plant.  Union Bay has not given landowners updated costs since March 2018. 

How much will Union Bay (600 households roughly) landowners have to pay in interest costs alone??  

The actual cost of borrowing has never been fully disclosed to landowners, last spring the Administration said $54,000 in interest costs but this figure was proven incorrect and removed from UBID’s website.  

To date no interest costs have been given. Why not?  The interest alone on a loan of $4 million is around $2 million over 25 years.  This is a ridiculous amount of money for 600 households to bear.

3.  Immediately send the letter to the CVRD to examine the pros and cons of joining the CVRD, as was pointed out to us by our MLA Scott Fraser this process can be expedited.  

The biggest pro is: Union Bay would become eligible for Infrastructure Grants (free money) and Municipal Financing (which is 2% below prime).  We are clearly on the path to building the Treatment Plant (land cleared, plans done, equipment bought) and the municipal election has passed.  There is nothing stopping Union Bay from sending that letter now.  Except they won’t?!  (remember a motion was passed Nov. 2017 to send the letter but UBID Board stalled it for bogus reasons)!

4.  Notification of landowners regarding the ‘historic’ Boil Water Notice which began on December        15, 2018 was haphazard, incomplete and ineffective in conveying health related water quality issues to the general public as well as landowners.  

Tenants and the traveling public drink our water as well?  Petro Can at Buckley Bay had no sign up (other than a tiny white letter on outside bulletin board) until I asked management to put up a clearer sign on December 20, 2019.  This is five full days after the BWN!

5.  Your Name Here!!  and Your Name Here!!  Thank you for being willing to run as Trustee, Union Bay needs you!

You are one of the two lucky landowner’s who have decided to rescue our water system and new treatment plant because you understand that Union Bay would be financially better off if we were with CVRD plus benefit from all the technical expertise on staff.

It is really that simple. With your help it can be done. Union Bay will not have this opportunity  again for many years.

UBID ignores 2013 Turbidity Tree Protocol for past 5 years. Why?

Since elected as trustee in October 2016 the UBID Board has met on several (2 – 3) times with Island Health (aka VIHA) where discussions regarding the 2013 Turbidity Tree, what it is and why it is important, took place at each of these meetings.  The trustees, administration and water works superintendent were present at these meetings. (2016, 2017 and 2018) The turbidity protocol was developed by the Ministry of Health in April 2013, and it applies to all who hold a water license in BC (that includes UBID, CVRD etc.). 

There was never any mention at any meetings with Island Health that UBID was exempt from the protocol! 

Over the past 10 months I have attempted at several Board Meetings to discuss the Turbidity Tree and to receive a report from the Water Superintendent regarding past practice regarding the multiple times the NTU’s have been greater than 1.0 NTU’s every winter for the past 5 years at least. In June 21, 2018 the board unanimously voted to have this report. 

To date no report has been received explaining why and on what basis did Union Bay chose to ignore the 2013 Turbidity Tree Protocol and not issue a boil water notices for the past five years!

Instead I have been shut down, interrupted, talked-over, silenced, insulted, harassed, ejected and ruled (without procedural basis) ‘Out of Order’!  Chair Haraldson has even threatened to call the police.

I will not be silenced, our water is our everything. It is up to each of us to protect it.

UBID Emergency Response Plan November 2018

NOTE; As a trustee I was never sent this Emergency Response Plan document nor informed that it existed. Alarmingly, the board was not informed of the Boil Water Notice until 5:41 pm. Dec. 17, 2018. This Is over 2 days late. The boil water notice was sent Saturday at 2:06 pm. As a landowner do you find this acceptable??

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1sLqkgeDVP-77fmhT9VqSbOITPTTx9G5n/view

Notice plan (task table) on page 8. Note requirement to post signs on highway.  Was not done as of 2:30 today.

Boil Water Advisory update

I have heard from several landowners regarding notice of boil water postings. Thank you!  The Kilmarnock Area has no Boil Water Notices beyond Spindrift Road and Argyle Road.  The entire middle section of the Craigdaroch/Kilmarnock area has no BWN by the post boxes on Arran Road, Montrose Road and Kilmarnock Road to Inverness.  This represents approx 150 households; not notified!  

That is close to 20% of union bay’s population and that is just one location.  What about Mystery Beach area?

great response!
— 
Susanna Kaljur – “Nevertheless, she persisted”

https://www.mycomoxvalleynow.com/47070/union-bay-boil-water-notice-not-ending-anytime-soon/

UNION BAY BOIL WATER NOTICE NOT ENDING ANYTIME SOON


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James Wood

JAMES WOOD, STAFF MONDAY, DEC. 17TH, 2018

 The community of Union Bay is pictured in a Goat News file photo. Photo by James Wood/98.9 The Goat/Vista Radio 

UNION BAY, B.C- Residents of Union Bay will be boiling their water for the foreseeable future.

That’s according to Danny McGill, the public works superintendent for the Union Bay Improvement District (UBID).

According to the district, the boil water notice is effective for all users of the district’s water system. The system runs from the north end of Kilmarnock, south to the Buckley Bay rest stop.

The notice has been issued due to unacceptable levels of turbidity, caused by recent heavy rains. Union Bay switched in August of this year to a standard of 1 NTU or less for unacceptable levels, after previously adhering to a standard of 3 NTU’s.

McGill told the MyComoxValleyNow.com newsroom that the NTU readings from Langley Lake, the district’s water source, were at 1.5 as of 11:00 on Saturday morning. He said it was hard to say when the notice would end, as it takes a while for turbidity to settle.

“It’s mother nature that we’re dealing with here,” said McGill.

“If we get another big storm front, it could do exactly what it did to us on Saturday. Our levels have been dropping quite good, but if it rains again like it did before, it could be on for a week or more.”

McGill also indicated that Union Bay has been below 1.0 NTU’s throughout 2018, though in years previous they had gone over that limit, though that was before the switch in August.

“With the new regulations set out, we’re at 1.0, and that’s what we have to stick by, and that’s what we’re doing,” said McGill.

He believed residents of the area shouldn’t be concerned about NTU levels from the past.

“In the past, VIHA (Island Health) has been well aware of our levels,” said McGill.

“Our bacteriological samples are all negative, and we do a lot of sampling down here.”

He indicated that all the bacteriological samples from the past few days have not shown anything concerning.

As for how the community was notified, McGill believed it was adequate. Notices had been posted on mailboxes throughout the water system area, and radio stations had been contacted. Some residents had been concerned, however, about a lack of notice and the mailbox messages not being seen.

In response to those concerns, McGill said he was sure things “could always be better” but also said UBID’s website and their email notices were useful.

“It’s a pretty small community, word travels pretty quick around here,” said McGill.

Sampling continues daily, and McGill said that UBID is in “constant communication” with Island Health.

Updates on the boil water situation will be relayed to the community as quickly as possible.

Union Bay Water Source for Potable Water

The following is a ‘Minority Report’ as I am the twice elected trustee of  Union Bay Improvement District.  UBID is responsible for potable water, fire prevention services and street lights.  Potable water is a serious responsibility and I feel landowners deserve factual information based on evidence regarding the quality and quantity of our drinking water as well as a full disclosure of the true cost of the build out of the treatment plant. The following is my opinion based on facts, evidence and personal experience.  I am not speaking on behalf of the UBID Board.  

Constructive solutions based comments are encouraged.  This is our community and our water.

Susanna Kaljur

The water source for our potable water in Union Bay.

Boil Water Advisory for Union Bay!

The following is a ‘Minority Report’ as I am the twice elected trustee of  Union Bay Improvement District.  UBID is responsible for potable water, fire prevention services and street lights.  Potable water is a serious responsibility and I feel landowners deserve factual information based on evidence regarding the quality and quantity of our drinking water as well as a full disclosure of the true cost of the build out of the treatment plant. The following is my opinion based on facts, evidence and personal experience.  I am not speaking on behalf of the UBID Board.  

Constructive solutions based comments are encouraged.  This is our community and our water.

Susanna Kaljur

Finally UBID is following the 2013 Turbidity Tree Protocol as recent NTU measurements are greater than 1. which has led to a BOIL WATER ADVISORY!  Note Union Bay does not disclose what the NTU measurements are which finally prompted the BWN.  Why?

Questions:

How many landowners are aware of the Boil Water Advisory?

There is no notice by my mailbox, what about yours?

How were the restaurants and business’s who serve the public water notified?  Were they notified?

How were seniors with no computers notified? As a good neighbour please inform them of the BWN.

The elderly and young, due to compromised immune systems, are the most vulnerable to pathogens in drinking water.

https://union-bay.ca

-Boil Water Notice –

For immediate release

December 15th, 2018

The Union Bay Improvement District (UBID) in consultation with Island Health has issued a Boil Water Notice for all users of the UBID water system. Affected users are those connected to the water system, which extends from the north end of Kilmarnock to the south end at the Buckley Bay rest stop. 

The boil water notice has been issued due to unacceptable levels of turbidity. The regulatory health standard for turbidity is 1 NTU or less. 

It is advised to boil water for one minute prior to consumption or prior to washing vegetables, teeth brushing or food preparation

UBID is continually monitoring the water quality and will provide updates as they become available. Watch for updates at www.union-bay.ca and listen to your local radio stations for more information. 

This notice is effective until further notice. 

Map of distribution area

Media contact: Danny McGill, Superintendent of Waterworks, 250-218-5127

About turbidity

Union Bay Improvement District is in the design phase of constructing a water treatment plant that will include processes which will greatly reduce the occurrence of water quality advisories. The design will be released for tender in January 2019 with an anticipated construction start in March 2019.  

New health regulations require that a turbidity level of 1 NTU initiates a response chain, which starts with increased communications between the water supplier and the health authorities. UBID has adopted a rigid Turbidity Response Tree that adheres to current regulations and have been approved by the Drinking Water Officer at Island Health. High turbidity can interfere with the treatment process and the disinfection of water with chlorine by creating a ‘hiding place’ for potential pathogens. 

Turbidity is measure of lights scattered by the size and number of particles present in raw water. This could be an indication of activity in the lake and / or watershed. Heavy rains storms can stir up the lake, elk can create turbidity plumes by walking through a tributary, road activity – driving, off-road vehicles – can all lead to a situation where the turbidity level rises in Langley Lake.  

The suspected cause for the increase in turbidity is the heavy rainfall and winds. 

UBID has increased monitoring of turbidity, bacteriological samples and chlorine residue and will continue to update those affected of any changes. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.: How do I boil tap water so that it is safe to consume? 

Tap water should be boiled for one minute. Use any clean pot or kettle.  Kettles that have automatic shut offs are acceptable.  After boiling, let the water cool by leaving it on the counter or in the refrigerator in covered containers. After water is boiled it can be stored in food grade containers at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

Q.: When will the notice be lifted? 

The notice will be lifted once the health authorities, in conjunction with the Superintendent of Waterworks, have concluded that the potential risk has been mitigated. 

Q.: What are the health risks during a boil water notice? 

The health risks associated with ingesting water that has not been boiled are hard to estimate.  The Notice was issued because conditions exist that make it impossible to ensure the safety of the water without boiling it first.  The risk could be low if no actual contamination occurred or very high if pathogens are present.  However, you can be confident that boiling your tap water for one minute is sufficient to destroy any pathogens that are present in the water.

It is important to note that Boil Water Notices are specific to microbiological threats. They are not appropriate to address threats from chemical contamination. Boiling chemically contaminated water will only result in the chemical becoming more concentrated or release the chemical into the air where it could be inhaled.  In such cases a different kind of Notice would be used.

Q.: What should I do once the notice has been lifted? 

Island Health FAQs, here

Union Bay Improvement Landowners’ Forum

The following is a ‘Minority Report’ as I am the twice elected trustee of  Union Bay Improvement District.  UBID is responsible for potable water, fire prevention services and street lights.  Potable water is a serious responsibility and I feel landowners deserve factual information based on evidence regarding the quality and quantity of our drinking water as well as a full disclosure of the true cost of the build out of the treatment plant. The following is my opinion based on facts, evidence and personal experience.  I am not speaking on behalf of the UBID Board.  

Constructive solutions based comments are encouraged.  This is our community and our water.

Susanna Kaljur

Let’s review the correspondence Union Bay has received from the Ministry starting with the first letter of 2018 titled aptly; “Questionable conduct between Trustees”.

In this letter Assistant Deputy Minister raises several areas of behaviour where Union Bay Improvement District Trustees need to Improve;

Please judge for yourself how well they have done over the past year…

Update: June 2018 “Landowners no longer allowed to ask questions at Board Meetings”   November 2018 Chair threatens to call police on Trustee Kaljur .

https://www.mycomoxvalleynow.com/45205/union-bay-trustees-meeting-dissolves-into-shouting-threats-to-call-police/

UNION BAY TRUSTEES MEETING DISSOLVES INTO SHOUTING, THREATS TO CALL POLICE

James Wood

JAMES WOOD, STAFF

UBID chair Ted Haraldson and Trustee Susanna Kaljur are pictured during the UBID trustee meeting of November 16th, 2018. Photo by James Wood/98.9 The Goat/Vista Radio

UNION BAY, B.C- The elected officials of the Union Bay Improvement District are having trouble getting along.

Last night, the board held its regularly scheduled public meeting, which was attended by all the trustees. Due to UBID’s chief administrative officer Gordon Mason being sick, he was not in attendance, and UBID chair Ted Haraldson was supposed to have read the CAO’s report.

However, the meeting did not start smoothly. When the question of approving the minutes of October 18th came up, trustee Susanna Kaljur indicated she wanted to make a correction to the written record.

At that previous meeting, Kaljur had left after a disagreement with Haraldson and the other trustees over a report from the district’s public works manager, concerning practices about turbidity measurements and the issuing of boil-water notices.

Kaljur indicated she did not agree with the minutes as written, and desired for a correction to be read out by Haraldson and then voted on by the board on whether or not to include the correction.

She never did manage to get that correction read, due to multiple interruptions by other trustees which escalated into a yelling match between Kaljur and the rest of the board. At one point, Haraldson threatened to call the RCMP after indicating he wanted Kaljur removed.

After Kaljur left her seat from the trustee table and went to sit with the public, Haraldson adjourned the meeting. Kaljur and around three quarters of the people gathered at the meeting then left the room.

Immediately after the adjournment, Haraldson told the MyComoxValleyNow.com newsroom that the meeting was closed due to disruptions, not going by the rules and the UBID’s own bylaws.

“I will not let a meeting get out of control,” said Haraldson, at the time.

“No one, that is a chairman, should let a meeting get out of control. I’m very disappointed that we could not follow through with this meeting, and unfortunately it happened again.”

He said that landowners would be informed of the details contained in the CAO’s report, and had previously indicated that would be accomplished by posting the details on the UBID website.

He also indicated that the report Kaljur had been seeking would be coming out in the near future.

“A report is coming out,” said Haraldson.

“It’s unfortunate that it didn’t come out today. It wasn’t coming today, but it was coming in the next number of days. It has been all done, it’s just a matter of bringing out. That report took a while, but it is on its way out.”

As for whether or not he would speak with higher levels of government to try to work out the chaotic UBID meetings, Haraldson said “we have choices that can be made”.

“Those will be followed through if necessary, I’m hoping not,” said Haraldson.

“I’m hoping trustee Kaljur can get on the same page with the rest of us. She is a smart gal, and I’m sure that she can contribute to the rest of us if she wanted to, but unfortunately, she doesn’t seem to want to do that. I don’t know why. I really hope that she does.”

After that statement, Haraldson was approached by trustee Peter Jacques, who asked to resume the meeting. The gathered trustees, minus Kaljur, returned to their seats and the meeting got underway.

Kaljur and the residents who left did not return during the rest of the meeting.

During Haraldson’s reading of the CAO’s report, it was stated that the water treatment plant project is on-schedule, with design work ongoing and construction planned for February and March.

A “source to tap” report on UBID’s water system is also in the works, and the district has been having productive meetings with Island Timberlands about efforts to protect Langley Lake from any ill effects caused by nearby logging.

The reading of the reports and the rest of the resumed meeting proceeded without disruption, and it ended after trustee’s voted to cancel the December 20th meeting as it appeared many people would be on vacation.

Reached afterwards for comment, Haraldson said Kaljur’s concerns about turbidity were misinformation.

“Vancouver Island Health and Dan McGill are on top of this,” said Haraldson.

“Regarding turbidity testing and all the rest of it, that’s governed by Vancouver Island Health. If they’re not satisfied by the testing that goes on, they will inform Dan McGill, and changes will be made at that time. Vancouver Island, they do the ruling on that for water sources that are being used by the public.”

As for the shutdown of Kaljur’s attempts to raise her concerns about the previous meeting minutes, Haraldson believed what had transpired was appropriate.

“I think that was appropriate because she wasn’t there, and making a correction, to try to turn around and make it sound like something else, is not right,” said Haraldson.

“It was recorded, and put out in the minutes the way it happened.”

He also said there had been a show of hands and a vote to pass the previous meeting minutes.

As for what he planned to do to resolve the differences between Kaljur and the rest of the board, Haraldson stated there were “are number of directions they could go”.

“Legally, I can have her removed,” said Haraldson.

“I don’t have a sergeant of arms here, I can turn around and hire a sergeant of arms and have her bodily removed, but what’s the point? What is the point? The thing is, it’s the disruption of the meeting. The people that are here, I would like them to hear these minutes. Some of the people stayed here, and listened to the minutes. The rest, left. That’s the division of the community, that’s the unfortunate part.”

He indicated he was willing to have called the RCMP, if he thought it was needed.

Haraldson also indicated he had issues with the way Kaljur communicated to other levels of government, independently of him. Under UBID rules, he indicated, communications are supposed to pass through the chair.

“Any correspondence that she wants to pass on to the ministry (Municipal Affairs), goes through the chair,” said Haraldson.

“She breaks those bylaws all the time. I get emails from her, going to the minister at the same time. It’s very unfortunate. She does not go through the chair. That is an issue, and she continues to do so. What am I supposed to do? I don’t really have to do anything, because at the other end, the ministry, they’re not even paying attention to any of this anymore. They’ve had enough. It’s unfortunate. We just have to get on with it, get the job done at hand, and that is our water treatment plant. That is our objective, to get that done.”

As for whether or not he would reach out to higher levels of government to discuss what had happened at the meeting, Haraldson said it was a possibility.

“Whether it can be resolved or not, I do not know,” said Haraldson.

“This has been going on through two chairmen, the chairman before me as well as myself. It’s a ploy, and it’s disruptive, and that seems to be the ploy that is being used. I’m sorry, I won’t put up with it.”

The MyComoxValleyNow.com newsroom sought comment from Municipal Affairs, who sent the following statement.

“The ministry acknowledges that the Union Bay Improvement District Trustees have had disagreements on issues affecting their community,” read the statement.

“Ultimately, the trustees are responsible for the management of their meetings, and are accountable to landowners for their decisions and conduct in those meetings.”

“Ministry staff have been available to provide advice and have encouraged UBID to seek neutral consulting assistance. The ministry continues to be available to UBID administration to provide advice or discuss matters with them.”

“Specific questions about efforts by the trustees to improve their working relationships should be directed to the Union Bay Improvement District, as they are in the best position to comment on the details of such matters.”

Comment was also sought from Kaljur, who replied with the following statement.

“Firstly all the trustees should be given training in deliberative process,” said Kaljur.

“The Board (minus Ted Haraldson) had one day training but this board has not put into practise what was learned. The minutes do not resemble what actually happened. The board does not follow Roberts Rules. I have asked for an independent investigation into allegations (without evidence) of harassment made against me.”

Kaljur also said the board of trustees does not want her opinion to be heard.

“That is unconstitutional,” read her statement.

“The remedy for this is simple; follow the rules, allow me to express my opinion unmolested, out vote me and then move on. That is all that is needed. I do have a voice and all I ask is to be heard, not agreed with, just heard.”

The video recording of the November 15th meeting will be made available on the UBID website.

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