Water has always been an important environmental focus in resort management. Numerous policies have been instituted, followed, and upgraded to protect water resources, conserve water use, and ensure the quality of wastewater treatment. By any measures of water use, and water conservation practices Sun Peaks is undoubtedly the most water efficient community in British Columbia!
Ultra Low Flush Toilets - Reduce
In 1994 Sun Peaks Resort LLP mandated the use of low flush (6L) toilets and fixtures throughout the entire resort area. In 2002, this mandate was updated to require the use of dual flush (3/6L) or single flush (4L) toilets in all new developments. These toilets have been widely used in Australia and Europe (but not North America) for over a decade, and Sun Peaks became the first community in North America to mandate their use. To back up the mandate, in the fall of 2002, all the toilets in Sun Peaks Resort LLP owned buildings have been upgraded with dual flush toilets, and water free urinals. The resort’s utility company has also sponsored a toilet replacement program, and distributed low flow fixtures to all water customers. The water use in refitted facilities decreased by 30% to 60% compared to previous seasons.
- In 1994, Sun Peaks Resort LLP mandated the use of low flush (6L) toilets and fixtures throughout the entire resort area.
- In 2002, the mandate was updated to require the use of dual flush (3/6L) or single flush (4L) toilets in all new developments. These toilets have been widely used in Australia and Europe (but not North America) for over a decade; Sun Peaks is the first community in North America to mandate their use. All toilets in Sun Peaks Resort LLP owned buildings are upgraded with dual flush toilets and water free urinals.
- The resort’s utility company also sponsored a toilet replacement program, and distributed low flow fixtures to all water customers.
- Water use in refitted facilities decreased by 30% to 60% compared to previous seasons.
In-Resort Water Metering
Sun Peaks is one of the first communities in British Columbia to achieve universal water metering. All buildings in the resort are water metered and are charged for both water use and wastewater production. Water metering has also allowed the resort the ability to analyze consumption patterns for evidence of leakage, or excessive water use. A water conservation consultant is utilized to evaluate water use, and identify and implement ongoing conservation measures.
McGillivray Creek Water Usage - reduce
The water utility company does not use any water from McGillivray Creek (this is the creek that runs through the Sun Peaks valley), so as not to reduce the amount of water available to downstream surface water users.
Sun Peaks Utility Corporation Ltd. Awards
- Lowest water usage in Canada; 220 litre per person per day (Urban Systems)
- Silver Eagle Award
Golf Course - reduce & reuse
Water is sourced from drainage systems within the subdivisions around the resort, and stored in golf course ponds on the seventh, tenth, and thirteenth holes for later use as irrigation water. This initiative is undertaken to Provide settling areas for any silt generated from the development which in turn protects the water quality in McGillivray Creek. When water supplies are less abundant, techniques such as spot watering, hand watering, syringing, and sacrificing low priority areas of the course are used.
Infrastructure - reuse & recycle
A state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant was constructed in 1999, and is being expanded as the resort grows. Design is underway on further enhancements to make the effluent quality suitable for use in snowmaking, and golf course irrigation. Currently, the plant’s effluent quality is consistently better than the permit requirements.
Water Quality Monitoring
An extensive monitoring program of effluent, groundwater, and creek water quality is in place.
Erosion Control: Water and Silt Management
Erosion is an intrinsic natural process, but in many places it is increased by human land use. Poor land use practices in our area can cause silt to enter the local mountain creeks. Improved land use practices used at the resort, such as water bars, and seeding of mixed grasses on all runs, decrease the effects of erosion. Erosion control is a significant aspect of Sun Peaks Resort’s ISO 14001 (Certification #026082) Environmental Management System.
If you have any suggestions on how we can be better stewards of this mountain resort environment please contact us.