West Kelowna  

West Kelowna water treatment plant should still come on line sometime this fall

Wildfire slows water plant

The McDougall Creek wildfire will have an impact on the opening of the Rose Valley Water Treatment Plant.

The extent of that impact won't be know for a few more weeks.

However, West Kelowna's director of engineering and operations Allen Fillion says he still expects the new water treatment plant to come on line sometime this fall.

"As far as timelines go for the plant, it has been impacted but we still feel it will be in operation later this fall," Fillion told Castanet News after briefing city council Tuesday.

"But the message I gave council is we need more time to fully understand the impacts from the wildfire before we can plan the roll out to the customers.

"Our plan is to come back to the Oct. 24 council meeting and hopefully we'll have a better understanding of all the impacts and how we can roll out the treatment plant for all our customers."

Everyone was evacuated from the site for about two weeks as the fire raged around the reservoir while the utility team which has been supporting the project have had their focus shifted to recovery efforts the past three to four weeks

Fillion says there has been some damage to some pressure reducing stations and damage to some of the pipes due to the sheer volume of water pulled through the system to fight the fire.

Months worth of work flushing the system to rid the pipe network of sediment may have also been impacted.

"With the wildfire, it's re-introduced a lot of sediment back into that system," said Fillion.

Some of that work has been undone, however Fillion says the full extent won't be known for a few weeks.

The entire area around the Rose Valley reservoir was also burnt, so Fillion says a contractor has been hired to begin reseeding immediately in the hope some of it takes this fall to minimize the impacts on water quality.

"We suspect there is more impacts to our system that haven't presented themselves that we are still going to discover. That's why we are asking for a little more patience."

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