The City of Kelowna has reported that it has good wastewater asset management news. At Kelowna’s city council meeting on February 20th, Joel Shaw, infrastructure planning manager for the city, presented an updated Wastewater Asset Management Plan and provided a report card for the city’s current wastewater assets.

The report detailed for the council that the infrastructure required to support the City’s wastewater service has a replacement value of $716 million. The cost of addressing system operation, maintenance, infrastructure renewal, and infrastructure to support growth and improve service levels will, on average, need to increase to match inflation—projected at 2% per annum—to support service delivery for the next 10-years. The projected expenditures to address these areas for the 10-year period are $218 million.

The report did note one area of weakness. Kelowna’s wastewater assets are depreciating on average at $10.9 million per year and the average annual renewal expenditure for the next ten years is $3.7 million, suggesting asset renewal is being under funded in the long-term. But the report suggested that the short fall is acceptable in the short-term as the system is relatively new, though renewal funding will have to increase over time.

Castanet, a western news hub, reported that Kelowna City Councillor Luke Stack questioned whether the city should account for the long-term rate increase in current pricing models. According to Castanet, Shaw said, “The reserves are reasonably healthy right now. We had a hard look at this and I think we are going to manage it through regular updates. It is difficult to predict these cost pressures.”

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Kelowna Asset Age
Age of Wastewater Assets. Courtesy: City of Kelowna.

On a peak day, Kelowna’s wastewater treatment exceeds 42 million liters per day. Wastewater is conveyed to the WWTF through a network of 595 km of wastewater mains and 35 lift stations. The city also has a second treatment facility that treats industrial wastewater from Sunrype and Andrew Peller. A biosolids treatment facility, located between Kelowna and Vernon, treats biosolids from Kelowna, Vernon, and Lake Country.

The wastewater service is comprised of both linear and vertical assets which include:

  • • Wastewater mains,
  • • Wastewater treatment facilities,
  • • Regional Compost Facilities,
  • • Lift Stations, and
  • • Auxiliary equipment.

The City of Kelowna provides wastewater service to approximately 95,000 residents. The complete report to council can be found on the City of Kelowna’s website.

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