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West Kelowna water treatment plant delayed

The Rose Valley water treatment plant is open. City of West Kelowna

Thousands of West Kelowna, B.C., residents will be dealing with another summer of boil-water advisories, with the completion date for the Rose Valley Water Treatment Plant being pushed back to the fall.

Previously, the plant was supposed to be complete by spring or early summer, the City of West Kelowna’s director of engineering and operations, Allen Fillion, told council.

“You’ve heard this before, but I will say it again: the current construction market remains extremely challenging for us,” Fillion said.

COVID-19-related supply chain interruptions are still very real, the shortage of skilled labourers is still a very challenging issue, and of course, inflation.”

Fillion pointed out that inflation levels reached levels not experienced since the ’80s and, while they’re slowly starting to come down, that has yet to be felt locally.

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“The entire team is working diligently again to deliver this project as quickly as possible,” he said. “We have a good working relationship with our consultants and the contractor and everybody understands the importance of this project. Everybody’s goal is to deliver the project as quickly as possible.”

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Fillion said the supply chain offered some interesting twists and turns.

They’ve had equipment come from Germany, Turkey, Sweden, and delays were expected.

One piece, however, was particularly slow. It ended up in North Korea before heading to Vancouver and finally making its way to West Kelowna.

The last and final phase of construction of the plant requires the installation of critical water transmission main infrastructure in the Sunnyside and West Kelowna Estates neighbourhoods.

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The $75-million project, which began in 2020, will serve more than 18,000 West Kelowna residents.

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