Eco-friendly ice is coming to the Pearkes arena’s aptly named Green rink.
The District of Saanich purchased a second eco-friendly ice machine – called a rink de-aerator – for the recreation centre.
The first was purchased from the Canadian company REALice back in 2016 for the arena’s Gold rink. The device allows staff to resurface the rink with cool water – about 18 C – rather than hot water usually used in the resurfacing process.
Traditionally, a Zamboni would flood the rink with 70 C water because heat removes most of the air bubbles from the water which helps create a smooth surface for skaters. Now, arena staff can use cool water because the de-aerator removes the air bubbles and creates a smooth, flat rink without the need for heat. Using cooler water saves on energy and reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Saanich was able to benefit from the FortisBC rebate which offered a refund of $20,000 per de-aerator. The rebate applies to indoor rinks that are resurfaced regularly and maintained with a hot water system that uses natural gas.
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Saanich is working to reduce GHG emissions by municipal operations by 50 per cent of the 2007 levels – 752 tonnes – by 2030. The District has managed to reduce emissions by 13 per cent so far, but the biggest source of GHG in the municipality comes from natural gas use at recreation centres, said District spokesperson Kelsie McLeod. The District expects the new de-aerator to cut 36 tonnes of GHG emissions annually. McLeod confirmed that the new de-aerator has been installed and is ready to be used at the Green rink.