West Kelowna  

New water plant secure

Madison Erhardt

Land has been secured for a new water treatment plant in West Kelowna.

The city has purchased 24 acres on Bartley Road, which will become the new site of the Rose Valley Water Treatment Plant.

The plant will serve 12,000 people presently on the Lakeview water system, and a further 6,000 people in the West Kelowna, Pritchard and Sunnyside water systems once interconnections to the new plant are completed.

The city previously applied to obtain rights to use Crown land at the end of Rosewood Drive, about 1.5 kilometres away, but hasn't been able to obtain the required Crown land grant.

''The new location means there may be an increase in the cost of the construction and possibly an increase in operating costs,'' said Mayor Gord Milsom.

''There is a very good probability that the people of West Kelowna could be paying more for their drinking water.''

That, however, can be weighed against years of boil-water advisories and yearly complaints of brown water coming out of taps during spring runoff.

With the location of the plant now determined, the city can complete its design, with construction to follow as quickly as possible.

West Kelowna is in the process of requesting a timeline extension to the $41-million grant the city received for the project, as the delay in securing the location has impacted its ability to meet the March 2020 deadline.

''It will take a couple years for the new plant to be constructed. In the meantime, we will do our best to improve the water quality, but we are moving forward and we are going to have the best water in British Columbia soon," Milsom predicted. 

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