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West Kelowna celebrates new Rose Valley Water Treatment Plant

Click to play video: 'Water treatment plant officially open'
Water treatment plant officially open
It’s been a couple of months since West Kelowna’s new water treatment plant officially began operations and today community members and local officials were invited inside to see just how their newly clean water is processed. Taya Fast has more – May 31, 2024

For as long as West Kelowna has been a city, residents have been dealing with water quality issues. That is until now, as the Rose Valley Water Treatment plant is officially up and running.

Prior to commissioning of the new water treatment plant, neighbourhoods on the Rose Valley water system regularly were subject to water quality and boil water advisories.

“I feel really satisfied that we are now delivering some of the best water in the Okanagan,” said Rose Valley Water Treatment Plant Operator Two Scott Brost.  “Compared to its previous quality where we were constantly putting on every year water quality advisories.”

Click to play video: 'Rose Valley Water Treatment Plant opening soon'
Rose Valley Water Treatment Plant opening soon

On Friday, residents and local officials received a firsthand look inside the new facility during a grand opening ceremony.

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“It’s been a long time coming and we thank the more than 19,650 Rose Valley system users for the patience throughout the planning and construction of what is truly the city’s largest infrastructure project,” said West Kelowna’s Mayor Gord Milsom.

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The project was funded through more than $40 million in federal and provincial grants, city funds as well as increased water rates for homeowners in the neighbourhoods that the plant serves.

Following several delays, phase one of the plant launched in November of last year, and by December of 2023, more than half of West Kelowna households started to receive clean water from the plant.

“Despite the unprecedented issues such as supply chain, labour shortages and surviving a wildfire which kind of went right over this building… the project remained on budget at $75 million,” said Milsom.

Click to play video: 'West Kelowna neighbourhood has 30 days to decide how to repay $23.5 million for new water treatment plant'
West Kelowna neighbourhood has 30 days to decide how to repay $23.5 million for new water treatment plant

The plant has the capacity to deliver 70 million litres of treated water per day. It was also designed to increase capacity to 115 million litres per day to meet future demands.

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Officials say the facility is a significant upgrade to the old water systems that used to service the community.

“The process before this plant was just that, we just added chlorine, so it was the only barrier,” said West Kelowna’s Director of Engineering and Public Works Allen Fillion.

“We now have three different barriers and approaches now in addition to the chlorine disinfection.”

Click to play video: 'West Kelowna boil water advisory frustrates residents'
West Kelowna boil water advisory frustrates residents

The treatment process includes coagulation, flocculation, dissolved air flotation, filtration, ultraviolet (UV) light disinfection and chlorination.

A multi-barrier treatment process that, according to the city, improves the taste, colour, and smell of the water.

“There’s four processes altogether to treat the water that we end up with a final product that exceeds all provincial requirements,” added Fillion.

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This means consistent, safe and clean water despite any potential outbreaks in the reservoir.

“All of these processes that we just talked about, remove all that colour, all that turbidity, they’ll handle essentially anything that the reservoir throws at us,” said Fillion.

Click to play video: 'A new water treatment plant gets urgent attention after a three-month-long water advisory in West Kelowna.'
A new water treatment plant gets urgent attention after a three-month-long water advisory in West Kelowna.

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