Work on a new drinking water supply for Charlottetown will begin later this year, but it will be 2016 before water is expected to flow from the new wells.

Five new wells in the community of Miltonvale Park, north of the city, will pump about 4,000 litres a minute and supply one-quarter of Charlottetown's water capacity.

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The project will be finished by 2016, says Edward Rice, chair of Charlottetown's water and sewer commission. (CBC)

Earlier this week, funding came through both from the federal and provincial governments to help start the $14-million project, which has been in the planning stages for years.

Construction is expected to begin as early as October.

"This represents that we've opened the door. We've started, and it means by 2016, we'll have completed the site and we'll be having water flowing through to Charlottetown," said Edward Rice, chair of the Charlottetown's water and sewer commission.

The project will eventually include the construction of Charlottetown's first water tower.

More wells required

As part of the deal between between Charlottetown and Miltonvale Park, about 50 homes in Miltonvale will also tap into the new wells.

"The only concern that residents might have here is the farmers adjacent to the property. We've been assured by the water and sewer department that they will have co-operation with the farmers that anything that goes on will be a cooperative effort," said Hal Parker, chair of the Miltonvale Park Community Council.

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Farmers have been assured they will have the co-operation of the water and sewer department, says Hal Parker, chair of the Miltonvale Park community council. (CBC)

The city has purchased land for the 7.5-million-litre tank, but won't disclose the location.

Meanwhile, Charlottetown continues to rely on its existing wells in the Winter River watershed.

Conservationists warn that rivers there sometimes run low.

The city said demand remains steady, despite continuing conservation efforts.

"With metering and conservation measures put in place — and we've got two new programs to announce this fall — it will help eliminate some of the concerns. It's not going to solve the problem," said Rice.

Even more wells will be needed to meet long-term needs, according to the city.