Posted by Leigh Hewer on Jul 30, 2019

 
Dave Hoyte introduced Zee Marcolin, General Manager Utilities with the Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO). Zee briefly reviewed water quality history in our area and stated that the results of Walkerton in May 2000 led to BC Legislation  in 2001 and 2003 for water quality and standards. RDNO uses a multi barrier approach to ensure water quality is safe. Moving to a regional water source was started in 2003 with RDNO taking responsibility for supply and distribution of domestic and agricultural water in the Vernon area with the total costs since 2003 of $106 million. The focus now is on infrastructure renewal.  Zee also spoke of some of the challenges with the  Kal Lake source resulting in 3-7 shut downs a year for turbidity and milfoil cutting etc. 
The Master Water Plan is a living document to ensure present and future water needs are met. In 2017 a request for borrowing was turned down by the electorate (for approximately $68 million) for a 5 year improvement that has now be re-scheduled over 20-30 years due to the costs of these improvements. Duteau Creek Water Treatment Plant did not qualify for conventional treatment credits and was non-compliant with  provincial health guidelines for surface water treatment and with the request to borrow the required $30 million for a filtration plant mandated by Interior Health being defeated (2017) another solution was required. RDNO with WSP came up with an innovative, economical and sustainable solution of UV disinfection. The total cost was under budget of $7 million versus $30 million for the filtration plant and of the $7 million $5.8 million was funded by grants with no borrowing as the balance was funded through user rates. This technology was developed and eventually approved by Interior Health. Our regional water system serves more than 58,000 residential, commercial, institutional and farming customers with both domestic and agricultural water.