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Boiling water so passe

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen celebrated the completion of the West Bench Water Supply Upgrade project, during a ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday.

Boiling drinking water on a daily basis is now a thing of the past for the West Bench water service area customers. After many years of effort from the residents, government staff and politicians, the water system has been completely rebuilt and is now connected to Penticton's water.

As of May 9, 2014, the Boil Water Notice was lifted.

"Our government is committed to strengthening our communities and protecting Canadians," says MP Dan Albas. "With our investments in these vital infrastructure upgrades, we have delivered on our commitment to providing a safe and reliable water supply for residents, while contributing to the long-term prosperity of the community."

In 2009, an application was submitted under the joint federal and provincial Building Canada Fund- Communities Component program and was approved for $3.38M for specifically improving the treatment of the water.

Two options were identified as feasible upgrades for the water system to meet the Canadian Drinking Water guidelines and Interior Health Authority requirements - a new Ultraviolet Treatment facility or a connection to the treated water from the city of Penticton's water filtration plant.

Residents agreed through a referendum to proceed with the purchase of bulk water from Penticton's water system. 

Another ribbon cutting for the West Bench Pedestrian Pathway also took place on Monday.

The new pathway extends up the hill from the intersection of Highway 97 and West Bench Hill Road, runs along Bartlett Drive and ends at Sandstone Drive at Husula Highlands.

In total, its length is about 2.5 km.

During the design of the pathway, the water system upgrades were also moving ahead.

As the alignment of the new water main was crossing the proposed pathway up to the West Bench in several locations, the projects were merged together for design and construction.

More information on the projects is available on the RDOS website.

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