Construction of a new water reservoir is taking shape at Big White Mountain Resort.
"People keep asking us what it is," said Big White Ski Resort V.P. Michael J. Ballingall.
"Some think it's a skating rink but it's actually a concrete in-ground treated water reservoir holding 2,800,000 litres of melted Okanagan Champagne powder."
The project costs $3 million.
The reservoir is part of Big White's growth strategy and with the expansion of the Blackforest development, the province has mandated they have to have a water reservoir large enough to fight two structure fires with treated water.
"Our water comes directly from Rhonda Lake, the lake that’s tucked right in to the base of the Cliff. It’s 6,600 feet above sea level and holds about 75 million gallons of fresh, clean mountain water," says Ballingall.
Water will continue to be drawn from Rhonda Lake, it will be treated and then stored in the new water reservoir tank.
Big White has long claimed some of the cleanest, freshest water in the world.
"It’s very low on mineral content, it doesn’t have any carcinogens in it, it doesn’t have organics in it," said Maurice Valcourt, V.P. of utilities at Big White Ski Resort.
"Compared to other communities, we don’t deal with fluctuating turbidity in our water from developing areas, we don’t have any logging or mining or any range livestock, so it’s protected from natural contaminants. It’s also protected from natural contamination in the winter by solid ice and snow pack,” says Valcourt.
Back in 2017, the resort invested in treatment for Lake Paul, located at the base of the Powder Chair. Lake Paul is now tied into the Big White water system, providing 60 million gallons of useable fresh water for the resort residents and guests.
The infrastructure improvements will ensure Big White's water supply grows along with the resort's population.
Work on the project is being done by the Ecora Engineering and Resource Group and is expected to be completed before the ski season starts in October of 2023.