Vernon’s award-winning water treatment facility on display

Tours take place Tuesday, June 25 from 10:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Residents who receive water from the Duteau Creek Water Treatment Plant are officially drinking award winning water.

The Regional District of North Okanagan’s (RDNO) Duteau Creek Water Treatment Plant (DCWTP) Ultraviolet Disinfection Facility was awarded the 2019 Association of Consulting Engineering Companies of BC Award of Merit in the Municipal and Civil Category.

The public is invited to join in celebrating the official opening of the award-winning facility on Tuesday, June 25 with tours between 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.

“The completion of the UV Disinfection Facility marks a significant milestone for our community,” said Kevin Acton, chair of the RDNO board of directors. “We hope our residents can make it out to celebrate in the opening of this cutting edge UV Disinfection Facility and see firsthand how their water makes the journey from raw water to treated, safe drinking water.”

The award was presented to RDNO’s engineering consultant, WSP Canada Group Ltd. who completed design, tendering, and construction administration services for the project.

Construction of the RDNO’s innovative UV Disinfection Facility, built adjacent to the DCWTP which was constructed in 2010, was completed in early 2019 and is a key component of Greater Vernon Water’s Master Water Plan.

GVW updated their MWP in 2012 and at that time adding filtration to the DCWTP was recommended. Following a failed referendum in 2014 to borrow funds to pay for filtration ($30 million) in addition to other projects, the MWP was reviewed to assess alternatives to filtration that may offer a more affordable solution to reduce public health risks and still meet provincial water treatment guidelines. As part of that review process, the RDNO Board of Directors created a Stakeholder Advisory Committee (Committee), which included a broad cross-section of community members, to complete an in-depth review of the 2012 MWP. The Committee provided a number of recommendations to the RDNO, which led to a revised MWP in 2017 and included the recommendation to use UV disinfection instead of filtration.

GVW now uses the unique combination of UV Disinfection and Dissolved Air Flotation at the DCWTP.

A monitoring plan is being developed in partnership with Interior Health to ensure continuing compliance.

Through the Canada-British Columbia Clean Water and Wastewater Fund, the federal and provincial governments awarded the RDNO $5.81 million to fund the installation of the UV Disinfection Facility.

The total project cost was approximately $7 million, with the remaining portion, less than 20 per cent of the project cost, being covered by the GVW Water Utility.

The minimum age for the tours is seven years old. Participants ages 7 to 14 must be accompanied by an adult. Wheelchair access is limited. Closed toe shoes only, no skirts/dresses, high heels or loose clothing.

For further information, please call 250-550-3700 or visit www.rdno.ca.

Related: Possible water restrictions in Vernon

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