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It’s World Water Day and Kelowna isn’t missing a sip of the action.
On Tuesday, Mayor Colin Basran and members of City Council took a trip to the recently completed Adams Reservoir UV Disinfection Facility to take a tour of the water system there.
The building represents a $4.5 million investment by the City of Kelowna into water treatment technology, and a milestone for water in the community.
Adam’s Reservoir treatment facility provides clean water to 9,000 Kelowna residents, according to Basran.
“What makes this accomplishment and investment even more significant is that it’s the final step in a long term process to use UV treatment for all City of Kelowna intakes, ensuring our system meets the highest of health standards,” said Basran. “It’s a high standard which we are proud to meet.”
As of the Adams Reservoir opening, all City of Kelowna water officially has a multi barrier disinfection system with ultraviolet (UV) disinfecting technology as the primary disinfection process, followed by chlorination as a secondary treatment method.
Basran gave kudos to staff who designed the computer system which allows them to oversee all the water stations, including Adams Reservoir—which is unmanned.
He said most of the project has been funded by the Utility’s water quality improvement fee and they use grants from other levels of government when available, but, the City has a self-contained system so the investments can be maintained in the future.
The mayor said the Kelowna Water Utility hasn’t had a water advisory since 1996.
“On World Water Day I am particularly proud to demonstrate how serious the City of Kelowna is to make sure our water is safe, secure and well managed,” continued Basran.
Adrian Weaden, water quality and pump operations supervisor for the City of Kelowna, said the two barrier system means the City now meets all of the Interior Health Authorities regulations.
Initiating the system has been ongoing for the past ten years, and the UV rays can prevent parasites in the water from reproducing and making people who drink the water sick.
Adams Reservoir is one of four intake facilities that collect water from Okanagan Lake for use by more than 50,000 residents in the area.
The water intake is collected from 22 metres deep in the lake, drawn into an intermediate booster station, pumped up to the facility, disinfected and fed into the reservoir.
It is then gravity fed to houses around Kelowna.
Chlorine, which is 10 times less powerful than household bleach, is produced right at the facility. For Kelowna, this is unique to this facility, so the chemical doesn’t have to be transported through residential areas.
Adams Reservoir produces 12 mega litres (12 million litres) of water a day, which is only 10 per cent of capacity.
If the community expands, the system could produce 95 litres of clean water a day.