Akbal Mund, Chair of the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee (left), and Kevin Acton, Chair of the RDNO, cutting the ribbon at the UV Disinfection Facility on June 25. (Contributed)

RDNO celebrates opening of new UV Disinfection Facility

“Citizens and businesses who receive water from the Duteau Creek source can turn on their taps, knowing that they have high-quality drinking water in their homes and businesses”

Vernon residents officially have some award-winning water.

The Regional Disrict of North Okanagan celebrated the official opening Tuesday, June 25 of the new Ultraviolet Disinfection Facility which disinfects water from Duteau Creek, a primary water source for Greater Vernon Water.

The newly-constructed facility, along with the existing Dissolved Air Flotation Plant, treats 60 per cent of the domestic and irrigation water in the Greater Vernon area.

The celebration featured speeches from Eric Foster, Vernon-Monashee MLA; Kevin Acton, Chair of the RDNO Board of Directors; Akbal Mund, Chair of the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee; Jessy Bhatti, Interior Health; Stephen Horsman, WSP Canada Group; and, Zee Marcolin, RDNO General Manager of Utilities.

Following the ribbon cutting, tours were given of the new UV Disinfection facility, as well as the Duteau Creek Water Treatment Plant. The tours showed people the journey that raw water makes from source to tap, including the disinfection and distribution processes.

“The completion of this new UV disinfection facility is helping ensure the communities of North Okanagan have the modern infrastructure they need to provide residents with high-quality water for years to come,” said the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. “Investing in public infrastructure like this is vital to creating livable communities where people enjoy a better quality of life.”

Construction for the UV Disinfection Facility began in 2017 and was completed in early 2019. The project benefitted from a $5.81 million grant from federal and provincial partners through the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund (CWWF).

“Our government is focused on delivering the services people count on and we are proud to have helped the Regional District of North Okanagan to make this project a reality,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “Thanks to this investment, the residents of the community can now feel confident knowing that the water from their taps is clean and safe to drink.”

The Federal and Provincial governments collaboratively launched the CWWF in September 2016. Fifty percent of funding for the UV Disinfection Facility ($3.5 million) was contributed by the Federal government, and thirty-three percent ($2.31 million) by the Provincial government, leaving approximately seventeen percent of the $7 million dollar project cost contributed by GVW customers.

“We have made important strides in the past 15 years when it comes to Greater Vernon’s water quality,” said Akbal Mund, Chair of the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee. “Citizens and businesses who receive water from the Duteau Creek source can turn on their taps, knowing that they have high-quality drinking water in their homes and businesses.”

Related: Vernon’s award-winning water treatment facility on display

Related: Possible water restrictions in Vernon

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