The Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO) celebrated the official opening of its new ultraviolet (UV) disinfection facility on June 25, 2019.
The facility disinfects water from Duteau Creek, a primary water source for Greater Vernon Water (GVW). The newly constructed facility, along with the existing dissolved air flotation plant, treats 60 per cent of the domestic and irrigation water in the Greater Vernon area.
“The completion of this new UV disinfection facility is helping ensure the communities of North Okanagan have the modern infrastructure they need to provide residents with high-quality water for years to come,” said François-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s minister of infrastructure and communities.
The opening featured speeches from Eric Foster, member of the legislative assembly for Vernon-Monashee; Kevin Acton, chair of the RDNO Board of Directors; Akbal Mund, chair of the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee; Jessy Bhatti, team leader at Interior Health; Stephen Horsman, manager of water at WSP Canada; and Zee Marcolin, general manager of utilities at RDNNO.
Following the ribbon cutting, tours were given of the new UV disinfection facility, as well as the Duteau Creek Water Treatment Plant. The tours showed people the journey that raw water makes from source to tap, including the disinfection and distribution processes.
“We have made important strides in the past 15 years when it comes to Greater Vernon’s water quality,” said Akbal Mund, chair of the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee. “Citizens and businesses who receive water from the Duteau Creek source can turn on their taps, knowing that they have high-quality drinking water in their homes and businesses.”
Construction for the UV disinfection facility began in 2017 and was completed in early 2019. The federal government provided 50 per cent of funding ($3.5 million) for the UV disinfection facility and the provincial government provided 33 per cent ($2.31 million). The remaining 17 per cent of the $7 million project was provided by GVW’s customers.