The Vernon area’s ultraviolet (UV) disinfection facility has been temporarily shut down for repairs, but the Regional District of North Okanagan says residents will still have safe, treated water in the meantime.
Last fall a leak was discovered in the pipe that carries water from Lavington’s Duteau Creek facility out to customers. A temporary fix worked through the winter and with the weather warming up now, Greater Vernon Water is working on a permanent fix.
“We want to be very clear; your water is still treated and is safe,” said Tricia Brett, water quality manager for the RDNO.
“This work is ongoing from a previous leak and is in no way related to the current pandemic. In a stressful and uncertain time, one less thing that our water customers have to worry about is their tap water.”
The UV portion of the treatment process will be shut off while the repairs are made.
Water will still be treated with the clarification process (diffused air flotation) and chlorine—an effective disinfection treatment against viruses such as COVID-19. The RDNO notes this is the same treatment process that was in place for years before the UV facility was activated in February 2019.
The work was set to begin Wednesday, April 8 at 8 a.m.
“Work will follow all provincial recommendations and the WorkSafeBC protocol for safe COVID-19 construction operations,” the RDNO said.
Out of an abundance of caution, the district says anyone wanting additional protection—including those with infants or compromised immune systems—may wish to boil water for drinking, washing fruits and vegetables, making beverages or ice, or when brushing teeth.