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The City of Kelowna has received $9 million in funding through the ICIP-Green Infrastructure grant program.
It will be used to fund the construction of sewer projects in areas that are currently on septic, which are Central Rutland, Rio/Rialto and the Mission Creek crossing for future servicing of the Hall Road area.
“This $9 million grant will support sewer infrastructure expansion to replace more than 630 of the approximately 2,500 septic systems still in use in urban areas within our city limits,” said Mayor Colin Basran.
According to the City, the serviced properties would benefit from a safe, reliable and environmentally sustainable wastewater treatment and effluent disposal system.
Rod MacLean, utility planning manager, explained that there are significant environmental benefits of eliminating septic systems as the City’s current system collects and treats wastewater into economically and environmentally friendly by-products like fresh water and compost.
“This grant was only available to areas where reserves were in place, and the Rutland and Rialto areas in particular have a high percentage of failing septic systems,” said MacLean.
MacLean added: “The City wastewater utility is providing temporary funding for the Hall Road connection area, as there were no reserves collected or available. The sanitary crossing of Mission Creek on KLO Road is critical for upcoming construction of transportation, water and stormwater infrastructure, and provides some opportunities to service the Hall Road neighbourhood into the future.”
For more than 25 years, the City has been focused on eliminating septic systems and has connected many properties over that time.
Without grants, the process is costly and the burden is almost entirely on existing property owners.
This grant applies to public infrastructure with service connections installed to property lines.
Customers will be required to install connections from their residences at their own cost.
The project is expected to be built over four years, with construction starting in 2022.
The City said they will continue to apply for grant applications and address septic replacement as opportunities arise.
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