Use of rainwater wins city award

Provincial recognition has been given to the City of Abbotsford for an ice-making system at the entertainment and sports centre.

A system that uses the city’s ample supply of rainwater to make ice at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre has received provincial recognition.

The City of Abbotsford, together with the District of Mission, has accepted a Union of BC Municipalities award in leadership and innovation for the project.

The award was part of a joint Abbotsford/Mission Water and Sewer Commission project that installed a rainwater harvesting system at the rink. It is the first professional indoor ice arena in the world to use harvested rainwater to make ice.

The estimated municipal water savings is 830,000L per hockey season. The water tanks are stored in the boiler room and fed through an internal gutter system. The water is pre-heated from ambient heat exchange in the boiler room, further reducing energy use.

The estimated energy savings of this system are approximately $3,200 per year.

The project costs were shared by partners Barr Plastics, Saxon Mechanical, the AESC, Tiger Purification Systems, Excalibur Electric and the water and sewer commission.

“We have already been speaking with other communities in BC who are interested in developing a similar project,”  said Coun. Patricia Ross, chair of the Abbotsford/Mission Water and Sewer Commission. “Harvesting rainwater is a great way for communities to reserve their potable water supply.”

The success of the project has resulted in the installation of rainwater harvesting systems in other parts of the communities. A 34,000-litre system was installed at the Abbotsford works yard to fill parks watering trucks; an 11,000-litre tank was installed for fleet vehicle washing; and an 11,000-litre tank was installed at Heritage Park in Mission and tied into the drip irrigation system for the rose garden.

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