Aquifer Service Expansion

Project Status

March 18th to mid-May (anticipated)

Drilling work at Dougall Park is now complete and park restoration is underway. In addition to clearing stockpiled earth and restoring grass in trampled areas, several improvements are scheduled, including:

  1. Replacing practice cage with grass (see green rectangle on graphic)
  2. Installation of a picnic table and bench
  3. Laying new gravel trail for better access from South Fletcher Road (marked in red on graphic)
  4. Moving water fountain from its current location to a site closer to Kinsmen Hall.  (new site marked by blue X on graphic.)

Drilling work at the Winegarden Park and South Fletcher Road locations is also complete.

Project Summary

Work is underway to expand service from the Gibsons aquifer to Zone 3, which covers most of Upper Gibsons. Currently, Zone 3 is supplied through a bulk water agreement with the SCRD, while Zone 1 and Zone 2 are served by the Gibsons aquifer. The intent is that the Town will provide the average daily demand and maximum daily demand to Zone 3 from the Gibsons aquifer but will still rely on the SCRD for peak hour water use, emergency storage and fire flow. The new system is expected to reduce the Town’s reliance on the SCRD water supply by 95% to 98%.

Expanding the Town’s water supply system is projected to cost approximately $3 million, with the cost savings from reduced water purchases from the SCRD offsetting these capital costs over time. Expenditures include the design and construction of a new pump station, drilling of a new production well, and drilling of two new monitoring wells. Once this work is completed, the Town will have four production wells and a network of seven monitoring wells.

The new monitoring wells will enable the Town to monitor the affect of the increased draw on the aquifer, as well as for saltwater intrusion due to climate change and sea level rise. Conservative estimates, based on regular reports from the Town’s existing monitoring wells, show that the aquifer is healthy and able to supply the required water volume for the build out of the Town.

The aquifer service expansion project is anticipated to take about 18 months to complete, with connection of Zone 3 expected to occur in mid-2020.

More information:
Map of Water Zones 1, 2 and 3
01-15-2019: Coast Reporter – Well drilling begins for water service expansion

12-04-2018: Staff Report: Well Drilling Tender Award
03-20-2018: Staff Report: Zone 3 Water Supply Option
Protecting the Aquifer
2019-01-16 Letter to Area Residents re Dougall Park drilling
2019-01-22 Letter to Area Residents re S. Fletcher and Winegarden Park drilling

Project History


Phase I – Well Drilling & Inspection

Between January 14 and February 11, 2019, the Town of Gibsons drilled several wells in Lower Gibsons to facilitate more complete monitoring of the aquifer and to accommodate the planned expansion of the aquifer service area into Zone 3 (Upper Gibsons). Two existing Town wells, located in Dougall Park, also underwent routine inspection during this time.

The sites for the monitoring wells were chosen based on their ability to provide the best possible data about the state of the aquifer. The site for the new production well was chosen based on its ability to produce the most amount of water.




The project work schedule was:

Dougall Park
01-14-2019: Excavator prepping Dougall Park for delivery of drilling equipment.
  • Construction of an access track for the drilling equipment. This involved some machine work and the placement of a gravel access for the drilling equipment near the tennis courts. The access will be re-grassed upon completion of the drilling. The area will be fairly muddy for a while, but the tennis courts and playground will still be available for use. There is an ornamental tree near the well site that required trimming. Staff are attempting to retain this tree, if at all possible.
  • Removal of two pumps from the existing Town wells (see blue dots in Dougall Park, on site map above) and a video completed of the well ‘casings’ to determine their condition. This inspection is routine and is also a requirement from Vancouver Coastal Health.

    01-22-2019 – This work has now been completed, with the casings of both pre-existing wells found to be in excellent condition.
Dougall Park
  • Drilling of a new production well near the tennis courts (see yellow dot, on site map above). This well will be used to provide additional water for expanding the aquifer service area into Upper Gibsons.
South Fletcher Road 
  • Drilling of a monitoring well in the parking area north of the Town Hall (see red dot at 494 South Fletcher, on site map above.) This well will provide ongoing additional information about our aquifer which will allow the Town to track any changes in the aquifer as a result of climate change and increased use. Ongoing monitoring of the aquifer is an essential part of the Town’s natural asset management.
02-12-2019 – The drilling of this monitoring well was completed without incident and a data logger was installed. 2019’s monitoring data will include information collected from this well.

01-28-2019: Drilling of monitoring well at South Fletcher Road.


Winegarden Park 

  • Drilling of a second new monitoring well near Gower Point Road within Winegarden Park (see red dot in Winegarden Park, on site map above). This well will serve the same function as the South Fletcher well and will also monitor for salt water intrusion due to rising sea levels, increased water usage, and climate change.
02-12-2019 – The drilling of this monitoring well was completed without incident and a data logger was installed. 2019’s monitoring data will include information collected from this well. Site restoration is still to be completed.
01-28-2019: Drilling of monitoring well at Winegarden Park.
Dougall Park
  • Testing of the new production well. This required pumping the well continuously for 72 hours in order to gain the information necessary to determine how much water the well can safely produce.
02-12-2019 – Testing is now underway and will continue for most of this week. As this pumping test runs continuously for three days, the contractors will remain on site for the entire time in a mobile office (RV). The data collected during this pump test will then be analyzed by the Town’s consultants, and next steps determined.