A new multi-barrier water treatment at Rose Valley Reservoir will meet national and provincial drinking water guidelines, as required by the Interior Health Authority. The plant will initially serve the Lakeview Service Area, but will eventually provide water to the entire northern half of the City of West Kelowna, after planned future connections to West Kelowna Estates, Sunnyside and Pritchard Water Systems are completed.
The plant will replace a current chlorination facility, which provides only one level of treatment and does not address clarity issues associated with algae blooms, which can occur from time to time in Rose Valley Reservoir. The last such bloom lasted 14 weeks in summer and fall of 2016, requiring a water quality advisory in the Lakeview System until algae had subsided and water clarity returned.
How Is the Project Being Funded?
Thanks to funding from the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia, via the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund, 83 per cent, or $41 million of the overall $49 million project cost will be covered. The City of West Kelowna will cover the remaining $8 million through various funding sources, which could include water system reserves, development cost charges and borrowing.
What Are the Project Benefits?
Clean Water and Wastewater Funding advances the completion of the Rose Valley Water Treatment Plant project by at least five years. The City of West Kelowna's 10-year financial plan indicated the start of treatment plant construction in 2022.
The City of West Kelowna will construct a facility built to modern standards, that will be forest fire and earthquake resistant, and far surpass the construction of the chlorine facility that was built in 1977. The new plant will be constructed to have a lifespan in excess of 40 years.
A new treatment plant will provide multi-barrier protection, which will give customers clear drinking water. When cloudiness, or turbidity, in water increases, the effectiveness of chlorine diminishes in combating microorganisms such as e coli, cryptosporidium and giardia. When turbidity measures between 1 and 5 NTU (clarity index measurement), chlorine can be blocked from disinfecting these microorganisms and, when unneutralized, the potential exists for them to cause varying degrees of illness in the very young, the very old, and those with weakened immune systems. Therefore, it becomes necessary to issue a water quality advisory, and children, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems are advised to use water that has has been brought to a running boil for one minute or consume an alternative, safe source. If turbidity surpasses 5.0 NTU, then a boil water advisory is required, and everyone in the affected area must use H2O that has been brought to a rolling boil for one minute.
A multi-barrier treatment plant, like the one being built in Rose Valley, will use methods such as flocculation, sedimentation, filtration and chlorinization, eliminating the need for such advisories and the reliance on boiled or bottled water.
Improvements will benefit half the City of West Kelowna including 6,200 homes (18,490 residents), approximately 300 commercial and industrial businesses, numerous daycare facilities, a half dozen public schools, two arenas, and an extended seniors' care facility.
When Will the Project Start and Be Completed?
Coming soon. For now, here are a few documents that will provide some perspective on the project: