• What To Do When Winter Weather Hits Nanaimo

    by Tracy Loewen | Feb 19, 2018

    We are fortunate to live in an area that has, for the most part, a pretty mild climate year-round. So, when we get hit with weather, such as snow, that the rest of Canada experiences on a regular basis during winter, it can take everyone by surprise. 

    Snow plow for blog STILL

    The City prepares for snow and ice conditions ahead of time by salting the roads with a brine solution before a winter storm. Watch this short video for more information on how this process works.

    When it comes to clearing the roads, the City has 17 vehicles in its fleet capable of removing snow and salting roads. Crews work multiple shifts day and night to assess the condition of the roads.



    We also have priority routes that must be cleared first and stay clear in order for emergency vehicles to get to and from the hospital, fire stations and BC Ambulance stations. Once these are clear, crews move onto other routes. 

    The winter of 2016-17 was particularly "wintery" for Nanaimo with higher than average snowfall and freezing temperatures. This made for a number of issues for both the City and residents. 

    We have been able to avoid any significant amount of snowfall - until this past weekend when we were reminded there is still some winter left! Below are some tips to get you through any winter storm event.

    At Home:

    On the Roads:

    • Take extra caution whether you're driving, walking or cycling. Roads and sidewalks can be slippery during and after snowfall meaning everyone must do their part to use extra care when on their daily commutes.
    • Plan ahead by checking the weather reports and following the City on Facebook or Twitter for winter road updates. 
    • Some extra tips for drivers:
      • Make sure to have proper winter tires on your car.
      • Check the radiator anti-freeze protection level and windshield washer levels on your car.
      • Make sure there is an ice scraper in your car.
      • Keeping door lock de-icer on hand.
      • Checking the condition of your car's window wiper blades.
      • Keep your gas tank full.
      • Allow more time for your vehicle to warm up.
      • Slow down when driving.
      • Allow more stopping distance, driving well ahead.
      • Plan your route to avoid hills.
      • Stay well back from snow plows and salt trucks.

    Visit the City website for more information on Snow and Ice Control.

  • Nanaimo Recycles Trunk Sale

    by Derek Johnstone | Sep 15, 2017

    Buying, selling, and trading used goods isn't just good for the pocketbook - it's great for the environment as well! On September 9, 2017, the City of Nanaimo held a trunk sale and gave residents a free opportunity to get together and shop on this wet Saturday morning. The new garbage trucks were on scene too, as well as The Wave, helping to inform the public about the new Sort Toss Roll automated curbside collection program. Have you got a great name for these trucks? Read more at Name The Garbage Trucks


  • A Stroll Through the Art

    by Ross Collicutt | Aug 11, 2017

    When art is created with intriguing detail and personality, it draws me in every time. The temporary art that pops up in Nanaimo’s downtown and Maffeo Sutton Park each year is some of my favourite to take in and to photograph. From materials to presentation, there is a lot to look at, and I find that different angles tend to offer a different experience with each piece.

    Earlier this summer, before I realized the new art pieces were installed, the #Hungry Bunny stood out like a cartoon character come-to-life. The bold pink is impossible to miss against the green grass of the park, and the blue sky of a sunny summer day. The artists on this piece drew their inspiration from the rising population of feral rabbits. Are Nanaimo’s bunnies cute or a nuisance? Right now that may be debatable, and this piece certainly inspires some deep bunny thought.


    * #Hungry Bunny, Artist: Dale (Dasch) Schulz

    Meet Me at the Blue Flowers in MacGregor Park across from the Port Theatre, is also a sculpture made of metal, and makes great use of metallic shine and blue glass to draw in attention. This is one of my favourite locations for temporary art, with the waterfront and boats in the background, and the historic clock beside it. These large and sparkling blue flowers seem right at home here, and yes, the flowers do help make this a great meeting place.


    * Meet Me at the Blue Flowers, Artist: Deryk and Samuel Houston

    Another painted steel creature looks out at the water from Maffeo Sutton Park. Lunar Flyer is a great horned owl and is about to take hold of an unwitting mouse. There is a lot of realism in this representation, and given that horned owls are nocturnal, they are common but rare to see. This piece of art is a great reminder of their presence.


    * Lunar Flyer, Artist: Heather Wall

    Portal  is another symbolic piece, but this art is made stronger by its creative story. This structure is a steel frame completely wrapped with pieces of discarded rope provided by a local log salvor. Making old new again, this artist takes materials and reuses them in a very thoughtful way here.


    * Portal, Artist: Heather Passmore

    There are more temporary and permanent art structures around downtown and Maffeo Sutton Park, enhancing the parks energy and appeal. You can visit www.nanaimo.ca and click through Visitors – Public Art to access more information, and even a smartphone app that will use your phone’s gps to guide you to the nearest masterpiece. So head out for a stroll through Maffeo-Sutton Park and Nanaimo's downtown, and enjoy some of the 169 public art projects that Nanaimo has to offer!

  • Tips to Keep Cool

    by Ross Collicutt | Aug 01, 2017
    Hey Nanaimo,
    With the expected heat wave this week, we have compiled a few ideas on how to stay cool and a few safety reminders to keep top of mind. 
    Please Remember:  
    • To wear a hat
    • To slather the sunscreen on before going out in the sun
    • If possible, choose cooler times of the day for strenuous activities and exercise
    • That staying hydrated is important, pack your water bottle
    • To take moments in the shade to cool down
    • It is not OK to leave a pet or child in a hot vehicle
    • We are on level two water restrictions
    • There is a BC wide fire ban in effect
    • To properly dispose of cigarettes and other smoking materials
    • To try to reduce the risk of a wildfire spreading you can remove deadfall and debris and keep hedges trimmed and grass mowed


    Parks & Recreation has a few events & ideas to help you stay cool:

    Share your "keeping cool moments" this month with us on instagram @nanaimoparksandrec using #ilovemyparksandrec


  • Picture a Park: Westwood Lake Park

    by Ross Collicutt | Feb 10, 2017

    One of Nanaimo's most popular parks is Westwood Lake Park. Located off Westwood Road, this 187.6 hectare (463 acres) park boasts many amenities to enjoy year-round.

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    First off, the lake itself. It's great for fishing, swimming and boating. There is a wheelchair accessible fishing float towards the south side of the park past the second beach.

    In the summer, people flock to Westwood Lake to cool off. Lifeguards are on duty at the main beach area during the summer. A washroom and changeroom building is located near the beach and a small playground is located at the second beach near the gravel parking lot. Both electric motors and non powered boats are welcome on the lake. 

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    A well-groomed main trail winds its way around the lake and is excellent for both runners and walkers. Some shorter loops can be accessed from the south end of the main trail. There are trails leading to hikes of nearby Mount Benson and Morrell Nature Sanctuary. There is also a dog off-leash area accessible from the far side of the lake and runs along the hydro lines. Make sure to keep your dog leashed when you are not in the off-leash area.

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    Lastly, Westwood Lake Park has many trails designed for mountain biking. 


    Looking for a park to explore? Check out the Nanaimo Parks Search tool.




  • Where's the Fire?

    by Ross Collicutt | Feb 10, 2017

    Want to get an idea of the types of calls Nanaimo Fire and Rescue receives on any given day? The Fire Incident Response tool on the City website gives you updated information of fire calls throughout Nanaimo.

    With the tool, you can see a list of each days calls by entering a date in the "Select Date" field. The current date is always the default date.

    list (2)

    Further down the page, another feature of the tool lets you view each fire call on a map. You can also view the statistical data of the number of each particular incident Nanaimo Fire and Rescue has to attend. 


    For more information visit the Fire Incident Response tool on the City website.


  • Active Life: Nanaimo parks and rec loves summer

    by Ross Collicutt | Feb 10, 2017

    ACTIVE LIFE is a monthly series in the Nanaimo News Bulletin contributed by City of Nanaimo Staff.

    What a privilege it is to call Canada home. I know it’s been a few weeks since we celebrated our nation’s birthday, but I always reflect on how lucky we are during this time of year. Each time I get the opportunity to sing O Canada, I find it hard to stop the emotions this song evokes within me.

    It also got me thinking about this wonderful city we live in. There are so many amazing things to do at this time of year that are free and great for the whole family. Here are a couple:

    Concerts in the Park – These free outdoor concerts have been part of the city’s July and August schedule for many years now, and this year is no exception. Performances are held Mondays, 12:30-1:30 p.m. in Maffeo Sutton Park; Wednesdays in July, 6-7:30 p.m., at the Bowen Park Amphitheatre and Wednesdays in August, 6-7:30 p.m. in Maffeo Sutton Park. This year’s entertainment lineup encompasses a variety of genres, including folk, country, Latin, pop, rock, jazz and even an orchestra performance. I don’t want to miss any!


    Picture above: Bowen Park Amphitheatre


    Pictured above: Lions Pavilion, Maffeo Sutton Park

    Playground Program – This awesome program has also been part of Nanaimo’s summer for several years. It is a great way for children between the ages of 5 and 12, along with their parents, to play games, make crafts and more, all under the direction of a very enthusiastic leader.

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    This year’s program has incorporated some evening options so all families have an opportunity to participate. Check them out: Monday to Friday until August 28, 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at Harewood Mining Community Water Park; Monday and Tuesday until August 25, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Mansfield Park, Carmanah Park and Fairview Community School; Thursday and Friday until August 28, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Rock Ridge Park, Country Hills Park, Mansfield Park; Wednesdays in July, 3-8 p.m., at Country Hill Park, Carmanah Park and Mansfield Park; Wednesdays in August, 3-8 p.m. at Fairview Community School, Mansfield Park and Rock Ridge Park.

    If you’re looking for more details on summer activities in Nanaimo, please visit www.nanaimo.ca or call 250-756-5200.

    This summer, take a moment with Parks, Recreation and Environment!

  • Soak Up Some Fun in the Sun at Kin Pool

    by Ross Collicutt | Feb 10, 2017

    Did you know? Nanaimo's first public, and only outdoor, swimming pool is the Kin Pool located in Bowen Park.


    The pool was built in partnership with the Nanaimo Kinsmen Club in the 1960's. It's now operated by the Nanaimo White Rapids Summer Swim Club who use it as a training pool and for swim meets. They also offer summer swimming lessons and public swimming.

    The pool opens in May and weekend public swimming starts at the beginning of June. The pool is then opened up on weekdays at the end of June to public swimming, aquafit classes and adult lengths swiming. For more information on public schedules check out the Nanaimo White Rapids website


    Looking to explore one of Nanaimo's parks? Check out the Nanaimo Parks Search on the City website.

    Looking for information on a City facility? Check out the Nanaimo Facility Search on the City website.

  • Water Treatment Plant Photo Update - August 7, 2015

    by Ross Collicutt | Feb 09, 2017

    The latest photos from the Water Treatment Plant Project.

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    See the project page for background documents on the Water Treatment Plant.

    Follow the project on the Facebook Photo Album.


  • Bringing Neighbourhoods Together One Book at a Time

    by Ross Collicutt | Feb 09, 2017

    Have you noticed as you stroll through some neighbourhoods in town, cases filled with books? These are called "Little Libraries" and are a fast growing trend in Nanaimo. They are a fun way to help community members get engaged in reading and connect with their neighbours. 


    Little Libraries have been around for some time in Nanaimo; you might have one on your street.


    Recently the City, in partnership with Vancouver Island Regional Library, Literacy Central, VIU International Education, Nanaimo North Rotary and Play Nanaimo, had 15 libraries built so they could be put in neighbourhoods around the city. The demand from residents far outweighed the supply as 41 households requested to have one placed on their property! 

    When you come across one, you can take a book to read and then return it once finished. 


    Check out the map to see where the 15 new libraries were installed. It's a great way to tour Nanaimo and perhaps meet a new neighbour or two!

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  • Get Ready for Fall and Winter with a New Activity Guide

    by Ross Collicutt | Feb 09, 2017

    As we prepare for a new school year, the new Fall and Winter Activity Guide will arrive this week online and across Nanaimo. 

    Starting Wednesday, August 19, you can view the recreation and leisure programs the City has to offer online. Look for your copy in City recreation facilities, City Hall, grocery stores, libraries and malls across Nanaimo starting Saturday, August 22. Registration for Fall and Winter programs opens Wednesday, August 26.


    There are some cool new programs on offer for the upcoming Fall and Winter such as:

    • Little Explorers: This fun-filled program is designed for your preschooler’s first socialization experience. Activities include arts and crafts, story time, gym time, singing and free play.
    • Musical Theatre: This youth program will work on vocal technique, acting skills, performing in a group and moving onstage with confidence while learning songs from hit movies and traditional and contemporary musical theatre. The course ends with a musical revue performance. 
    • Cheese Making Series: Learn to make a variety of cheeses from Mozzarella to Traditional French Brie.
    • Aloha Hula: Bring Hawaii to Nanaimo by learning the basic steps of Kaholo, Hela, Kawelu and Uwehe.
    • Winter Evergreen Containers: Create outdoor living winter planters filled with twigs, berries, moss and evergreen shrubs. 
    • 20-20-20: This is a total body stretch, strength and cardio class that incorporates 20 minutes of stretch, warm up and cool down, 20 minutes of strength work and 20 minutes of cardio.
    • Vinyasa Flow Yoga: A fast-paced class that will get your heart rate up and get you sweating while flowing smoothly through a beautiful Vinyasa inspired yoga sequence. 
    • Trailblazers Light: This guided walking group is perfect for the beginner or for those wanting to get back into walking again. Enjoy fresh air and good company while exploring some amazing parks and trails in Nanaimo. 
    • Urban Commuting 101: Become a confident bicycle commuter. Learn bike control, effectiveness of changing gears, negotiating hills, rider safety, road rules and regulations, basic bike mechanics and more.
    • Holiday Swim and Shop: Drop off your child for a swim with one of our lifeguards and get all your holiday shopping done. We will play games, make crafts and have prize give-aways!
    • NHL Girls Only: This program is designed to introduce and develop the game of hockey for girls looking to play for enjoyment and fitness in an all-female environment. Participants will practice a wide variety of basic and advanced hockey skills.
    • Sports Sampler - Adaptive: This program will provide teens and adults with cognitive disabilities the basic skills to play several sports, such as pickleball, basketball, indoor soccer and more.

    If you haven't already, setting yourself up for online registration in advance makes it easier for you to register for programs online first thing on August 26. To get your own account for our online registration and for more information on programming and registration please call 250-756-5200.

  • Active Life: Beban Pool Getting a Fresh Look for Fall

    by Ross Collicutt | Feb 09, 2017

    ACTIVE LIFE is a monthly series in the Nanaimo News Bulletin contributed by City of Nanaimo Staff.

    What an amazing summer it has been so far. We’ve experienced record days of sunshine and many recreation options that have encouraged us all to stay active. It’s hard to imagine that in a short amount of time kids will be going back to school while the rest of us return to our regular routines and schedules.

    There is a lot of behind-the-scenes work taking place at Parks, Recreation and Environment as we get ready for the return of the fall and winter season.

    In case you haven’t heard, Beban Pool is undergoing some changes during its annual maintenance shutdown. When the pool re-opens on Sept. 8, swimmers will find five new water features that have been installed in the leisure pool area, including a water tunnel. In addition, the pool walls and ceiling are currently getting a fresh coat of paint in anticipation of the new theme and murals, which will take place this fall. Once it is all done, Beban Pool will feel like new in many ways with the spray features and the overall fresh colours and murals. New to the Beban Pool schedule this fall is a Sunday family swim from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., when the whole family can experience the water features together. 




    In addition, the production of your fall and winter Activity Guide is wrapping up. We have a team of program coordinators, instructors and marketing staff who work together to bring you the Activity Guide. This process takes several months of planning and organizing, but it’s very rewarding to be offering such a wide range of programs, special events and community information to the citizens of Nanaimo. Look for your copy starting Aug. 22 at all of our recreation facilities. Program registration begins on Aug. 26.


    We still have room in many of our summer camps and programs, so if the kids are looking for something to do, check out the current activity guide for ideas on making the last weeks of the season memorable and full of adventure. For more information, please visit www.nanaimo.ca or call 250-756- 5200.

    We hope the rest of your summer is fantastic and encourage you to ‘take a moment’ and participate in one of our many programs or special events this upcoming fall and winter.

  • Water Treatment Plant Photo Update - August 27, 2015

    by Ross Collicutt | Feb 09, 2017

    The latest photos from the Water Treatment Plant Project.

    See the project page for background and resources on the Water Treatment Plant.

    Follow the project on the Facebook Photo Album.

    WTP150827-1x500 WTP150827-2x500 WTP150827-3x500 WTP150827-4x500 WTP150827-5x500 WTP150827-6x500 WTP150827-7x500  


  • Picture a Park: Neck Point Park

    by Ross Collicutt | Feb 09, 2017

    One of Nanaimo's great waterfront destination parks is Neck Point Park. Located off Hammond Bay Road and featuring 14 hectares (36 acres) of breathtaking scenery, Neck Point is a retreat away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Recognized as an environmentally sensitive area, the park is well known in the community for its historic, scenic and natural features. It's also a popular spot for weddings


    From the parking lot, you are immediately treated to a breathtaking scene that exemplifies west coast life. 

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    Trails wind through various natural settings in the park such as Garry Oak groves, pebble bay beaches, rock cliffs and forested areas. Interpretive signage detailing the history, features and ecology of the park can be found throughout. Some trails feature stairs and viewing platforms. There is also a multi-use trail.


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    Benches and tables can be found throughout the park for rest, quiet contemplation and a picnic in a truly remarkable setting.



    With three beaches and lookouts scattered throughout, Neck Point Park is a great place for wildlife and scenic viewing. It's an ideal spot to watch for orca, sea lions and otters. In early spring, the water turns a turquoise colour during herring season and the beach is awash with herring row. 

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    Scuba divers can enjoy the ease of drive up diving with the use of an access road. The water off the rocky headlands at the end of the park's "neck" boasts a variety of sea life. There's even talk of a friendly octopus nearby. 

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    With its striking beauty and accessibility, Neck Point Park is truly a destination everyone can "Take a Moment" to enjoy.

    Looking for a park to search? Check out the Nanaimo Parks Search on the City website.



  • Plan Your Active Routine

    by Ross Collicutt | Feb 09, 2017

    Now that September has arrived, it’s time to get back into our regular routines. And, with the weather cooling and days getting shorter, we tend to look for indoors to stay active.

    The City has facilities that offer many drop-in activities for you to take advantage of such as swimming, skating, floor hockey and aquafit.


    With the Public Schedules tool, you can view all the drop-in activities we have to offer at each of our facilities. 


    It’s pretty simple to use. You can check out what’s happening at each facility that day, click on a facility to view just that facility's schedule and see what drop-in activities are taking place for the next week.


    You can also subscribe to have schedules from a specific facility emailed to you so you never miss a schedule change or cancellation.


    The Public Schedules tool can be found on the City website.

  • Active Life: Take advantage of autumn with parks and rec activities

    by Ross Collicutt | Feb 09, 2017


    I absolutely love the summer season. For me, the summer was spent at local parks and beaches with my family, enjoying lots of local, fresh produce and attending some of the many outdoor festivals and events.

    As autumn approaches, the days are getting shorter, a chill is in the air and the routines of September are returning. For many, the transition into fall can be a bit challenging as we prepare for the not-too-distant grey, rainy days. I have, however, come up with some ways to appreciate this beautiful fall season.


    Try a new activity – The Fall and Winter Activity Guide is now in circulation. Programs can be found within its pages for all ages and abilities. Some examples include cheese making, where participants will make mozzarella, feta, brie and other types. How about registering your toddler in one of our monthly Play and Learn programs? They run from September until June and will teach your child a variety of skills through music, crafts and games.


    Get out and photograph – At this time of year, the light is perfect and the colours are stunning. Go out into your local parks and start photographing. If you are interested, we offer photography courses to help you understand what all of those little features on your camera are used for and how to get that perfect shot.


    Garden – We tend to think that the fall season signals the end of gardening. Many people are planting winter gardens or using small spaces or containers. I can’t think of too many things that would be more rewarding than harvesting food you helped to grow. Did you know that the City of Nanaimo offers courses on growing your own tomatoes and garlic?


    Exercise – For many, the heat of summer is just too much for doing strenuous exercise outdoors. Cooler temperatures mean you can easily go outside and get in that workout. Don’t forget that raking leaves and apple picking are great calorie burners, too, or you can join one of our exercise classes.


    To learn more, please visit www.nanaimo.ca or call 250-756-5200.

  • Active Aging with Parks, Recreation and Environment

    by Ross Collicutt | Feb 09, 2017

    Are you 60 years or older and looking for ways to connect with other active agers in Nanaimo? We have a variety of programs, activities and classes suited just for that. With a membership in the Nanaimo Harbour City Seniors, you can take advantage of low-cost, exclusive activities and programs and meet new people. 

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    Available exclusively to members includes:

    • weekly cards games such as cribbage and bridge;
    • access to the ceramics room and billiards room located in the Bowen Park complex;
    • classes and programs such as fitness, yoga, drop-in sports, music and arts and crafts;
    • special interest groups such as book club and computer club;
    • experience tours to other parts of the island, Gulf Island and Lower Mainland.

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    If you are already a member you can bring a friend to try it out. For more information on our Active Aging programs and membership in the Nanaimo Harbour City Seniors, please call 250-755-7501.

  • Celebrating Nanaimo's Rivers

    by Ross Collicutt | Feb 09, 2017

    The last Sunday in September marks World Rivers Day, a day to celebrate the importance of these waterways to all life. Nanaimo has an abundance of waterways that are beneficial to local ecosystems, our economy and our culture and heritage. 

    On Sunday, September 27 the City of Nanaimo along with Nanaimo Area Land Trust (NALT) will be hosting Rivers Day in Bowen Park. Starting at 11:00 am you are invited to the lower picnic shelter in the park to enjoy information and interactive booths, live music with Mt Benson Ceili Band, TerraZetto and Jeffrey Randle, an interpretive stream walk and fry trapping. Before the festivities start, parents can register their 3-6 year olds for Aqua Charades running from 10:00 am to 11:00 am.



    There are plenty of tours hosted by Nanaimo River Watershed Roundtable taking place for Rivers Day. A bus tour of the Nanaimo River Watershed will be held on the Friday before Rivers Day. On Rivers Day itself, you can register for the following tours leaving from the Bowen Park Wall Street parking lot:

    The following tours you can register for will leave from other locations:

    And, back by popular demand, NALT will host their famous Salmon BBQ starting at 12:00 pm.


  • Annual Maintenance at Nanaimo Aquatic Centre

    by Ross Collicutt | Feb 09, 2017

    The Nanaimo Aquatic Centre closed on September 7 for its annual maintenance. Some of the work that was done included:

    • maintenance on the pumps and plumbing,
    • upgrading the leisure pool lighting to high efficiency LED,
    • adding the net and slide to the boat play feature.
    • painting the exterior of the building,
    • painting inside the building,
    • adding a new air handling unit for the leisure pool,
    • adding new equipment in the weight room,
    • rebuilding the dehumidification compressors on both air handling units for the large pool, and
    • deep cleaning that can only be done when the pools are emptied of water.

    While the weight room reopened on September 14, the pools will reopen on Monday, September 28.

    Here's a snapshot of some of the work and results:

    The Leisure pool without water. 


    A large crane was brought in to help crews get up to the ceiling to install the new LED lighting.


    Crews painting the play boat feature.



    Crews painting the grates that surround the main pool.


    The Leisure Pool starting to be filled up. It takes a few days just to fill each pool. 


    The most noticeable change will be return of the slide and crawl net back on the boat play feature. 



  • Water Treatment Plant Photo Update - October 1, 2015

    by Ross Collicutt | Feb 09, 2017

    The latest photos from the Water Treatment Plant Project.

    See the project page for background and resources on the Water Treatment Plant.

    Follow the project on the Facebook Photo Album.


Last updated: February 19, 2018

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