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Facilities / Operations

The Regional District of North Okanagan-Greater Vernon Water (RDNO-GVW) operates a complex water system that relies on a number of raw water sources.  Every year, an average of 11 billion litres of water is delivered to approximately 57,000 users in the Greater Vernon water service area.  The Regional District manages the regional water utility, and contracts operation and maintenance to the City of Vernon and the District of Coldstream.  Each jurisdiction handles billing for the RDNO-GVW customers located within its boundaries.

Duteau Creek Water Treatment Plant - Ultraviolet Disinfection Facility

Construction of the RDNO’s innovative UV Disinfection Facility, built adjacent to the DCWTP which was constructed in 2010, was completed in early 2019, and is a key component of Greater Vernon Water’s (GVW) Master Water Plan (MWP), which provides a road map to meeting the water needs of our growing population as well as Provincial water treatment guidelines to protect health.

GVW now uses the unique combination of UV Disinfection and Dissolved Air Flotation at the DCWTP. A monitoring plan is being developed in partnership with Interior Health and the Provincial Regulatory Enforcement Agency to ensure continuing compliance.

Through the Canada-British Columbia Clean Water and Wastewater Fund, the Federal and Provincial Governments awarded the RDNO $5.81 million to fund the installation of the UV Disinfection Facility. The total project cost was approximately $7 million, with the remaining portion, less than 20% of the project cost, being covered by the GVW Water Utility.

UV disinfection is an effective treatment process used to inactivate protozoan pathogens that are found in water. As water passes through the reactor, UV light is absorbed by the DNA of protozoa, changing its structure and making it incapable of replicating (i.e. it can no longer cause disease). 

How the Process Works

From the 10ML reservoir, water enters the UV building from the East side through a 48 inch pipe. Water flows into online reactors where it comes in contact with UV light. Each of the 3 reactors has nine rows with 12 lamps per row, for a total of 108 bulbs per reactor. The number of rows and bulbs online depends on the target dose.

During the low flow months, only one UV reactor is used, however, as we enter into the high flow season, two reactors are used. The third reactor is for redundancy and used as a backup or when maintenance needs to be performed on one of the other reactors.

The flow rate is measured by a flow meter as it passes through each reactor. The water flow and the UV transmissivity are part of a calculation that determines how many rows of lamps should be online and at what power in order to achieve the target dose.

UV transmittance (UVT) is the percentage of UV light at a wavelength of 254nm that is transmitted through 1 cm of water. Pure water has a 100% UVT. In the winter months, we average 85-92% UVT.

The reactor will adjust the intensity of the UV bulbs to achieve the required dose based on water flow and water quality.

After the water has passed through the reactors it goes into a concrete chamber with a horizontal baffle that is designed to keep the UV reactors full of water while online. The water leaves this chamber entering a pipe that is the start of the distribution system. UV disinfection does not produce a residual disinfection, so we add Sodium Hypochlorite as the water enters the distribution system to ensure water meets the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality to maintain disinfection residual value throughout the distribution system and to your taps.

This treatment of water all happens with continual flow through the plant that matches the water demand in the system.

Why UV Disinfection for RDNO?

Interior Health has laid out a 4-3-2-1-0 Drinking Water Objective which provides water suppliers with a performance target to ensure safe drinking water is delivered.

4 log or 99.99% reduction or inactivation of viruses, (which we meet with Sodium Hypochlorite disinfection)
3 log or 99.9% reduction or inactivation of Giardia and Cryptosporidium (provided by UV)
2 treatment processes for all surface water (Sodium Hypochlorite, DAF and UV)
1 less than or equal to 1 NTU of turbidity leaving the treatment facility (confirmed with on-line monitoring)
0  E.coli  and fecal coliform (confirmed with sampling program)

UV disinfection is an effective way of meeting the 3 log removal or inactivation of Giardia and Cryptosporidium.

More Information:

Media Release - UV Disinfection Facility Official Opening
Plant Information
Duteau Creek Water Treatment Plant Process - Roadmap

Mission Hill Water Treatment Plant

The Mission Hill Water Treatment Plant was commissioned in 2006.  Plant capacity is 60ML, or 16 million gallons, per day. Phase 1 of the Plant utilizes ultraviolet and chlorine treatment.

North Kalamalka Intake

The North Kalamalka Lake intake pipe is 252 meters long and 20 meters deep. In conjunction with the completion of the Phase 1 Mission Hill Water Treatment Plant, the capacity of the Kalamalka pump station was upgraded to 60 ML/day.

Duteau Creek Water Treatment Plant

The Duteau Creek Water Treatment Plant was commissioned in 2010. The following link provides background on the plant as it was originally constructed including construction costs, supplementing the details on the more recent system additions above:
DCWTP 2010 Questions & Answers

Greater Vernon Water (GVW) invites you to view this short news clip done by Shaw TV on the Duteau Creek Water Treatment Plant in 2013, which captures the treatment processes used on our drinking water at that time. Ultraviolet treatment has since been added to the facility to further protect our community from waterborne illness risks.

Video 1

Virtual Tour of Duteau Creek Water Treatment Plant
The following video was produced by a local teacher with help from students in School District #22 in 2013. It provides a more detailed tour of the Dissolved Air Floatation system still effectively used in the treatment plant. It is interesting to note the long term plan for filtration at this treatment plant and that staff have ensured space and capacity to include a filtration system on site.

Video 2

Virtual Tour of Duteau Creek Water Treatment Plant


Refer to Master Water Plan for more information about future and completed infrastructure projects.

Please direct enquiries to:
Phone:  250-550-3700
Fax:      250-550-3701
E-mail:  [email protected]