Water filtration plan under review

A contentious water project will be scrutinized.

The Greater Vernon Advisory Committee is proposing to spend $30,000 for a peer review on filtration for the Duteau Creek water treatment plant.

“An outside consultant who has never seen the project will take a good hard look at it,” said Zee Marcolin, Greater Vernon Water manager.

Filtration would cost $26.5 million and some politicians have stated the technology is being mandated by the Interior Health Authority more to cover IHA’s liability than to do address public health.

“How reasonable is it for them to expect us to get to this level at this expense?” said director Bob Fleming.

Dale McTaggart, Regional District of North Okanagan engineering general manager, insists more details are needed before proceeding with filtration.

“We want to make sure we’re doing things the best way with the technology currently available,” he said.

Director Gyula Kiss has raised several concerns about filtration.

“Duteau Creek, during the summer, provides high quality water and 90 per cent of it goes on to crops,” he said.

“It makes no sense to pay out big money and crops are getting better quality water than the people in Vernon (who largely use Kalamalka Lake water).”

While filtration will undergo a review, it’s not certain if a similar process will occur for the overall master water plan and its $70 million cost.

“If it’s not put in the budget, it won’t be done,” said director Maria Besso, who wants the full master water plan investigated further.


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