Master Water Plan Addresses Compliance with the Drinking Water Protection Act

Posted Friday, October 31, 2014

This November 15th the Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO) is asking Greater Vernon Water (GVW) service area electors whether they are in favour of borrowing up to $70 million to fund the priority infrastructure projects outlined in the Master Water Plan (MWP).
The MWP process involved extensive reviews over a two year period and multiple stakeholders including:

  • Three private engineering firms who developed and completed a thorough review of nine different options to bring GVW into compliance;
  • Internal technical staff from City of Vernon, District of Coldstream and the RDNO, including engineers, water quality and operations personnel;
  • Interior Health reviewed the MWP to ensure it complied with the requirements of the Drinking Water Protection Act and agreed it meets the standards;
  • Agricultural representatives; and
  • Chief Financial and Administrative officers from the City of Vernon, District of Coldstream and the RDNO.

“While $70 million is a lot of money for current customers to consider, long term borrowing allows this impact to be spread over a longer period of time and allows future customers, who will also benefit from the projects, to help pay for them as well,” explains RDNO Electoral Area “C” Director Mike Macnabb.

The long term borrowing option is a financially viable means to fund the priority projects to become compliant with provincial regulations and reduce the health risks from protozoa and the long term consumption of aluminum, trihalomethanes, and haloacetic acids. “The RDNO has sought out the best information to provide a plan for Greater Vernon Water customers that reduces the risk of water borne related illnesses and addresses long term supply planning for our growing population, fire flow demands, and other emergencies ” explains Zee Marcolin, Manager of Greater Vernon Water.

The RDNO was ordered by Interior Health to develop a plan that supports compliance with the Drinking Water Protection Act. Mayor Rob Sawatsky notes that, “the Board of Directors voted to support the MWP to achieve compliance and now it is up to the electors to decide whether having water quality that meets provincial standards should be funded by a long term borrowing mechanism.”

The RDNO encourages all customers to get informed on the water quality issues and the referendum process. Frequently asked questions along with Technical Memorandums can be found online at www.rdno.ca/water. Any questions may be directed to [email protected], fill out the online form, or call the RDNO at 250-550-3700.