Greater Vernon Water (GVW) supplies water to approximately 57,000 people in the City of Vernon, District of Coldstream, Electoral Areas “B”, “C” and “D” in addition to providing bulk water to the Township of Spallumcheen for the Stepping Stones area.
While the Regional District manages the water sources, operation and maintenance are contracted to the City of Vernon and the District of Coldstream. Each jurisdiction handles billing for GVW customers located within their respective boundaries.
Operations and maintenance questions?
Vernon, Electoral Areas "B" and "C" and
|City of Vernon|
|Coldstream and Electoral Area "D"||District of Coldstream|
Greater Vernon Water has an Agricultural Program that provides services to farms. To learn more about the program, visit the Agricultural Water Use page.
GVW is a regional water utility owned and operated by the RDNO. Some utility operations are contracted out to the City of Vernon and the District of Coldstream to achieve efficiencies, such as billing and operations, which is why your water bill comes from your municipality.
Water rates are set by the RDNO Board of Directors and customers are welcome to contact GVW staff if you have questions about the rates. However, customers will receive their water bills via their local municipality (Vernon or Coldstream) or Electoral Area (RDNO). Please contact the municipality that issued your bill if you have questions about the specific charges on your bill.
Municipality Phone Number City of Vernon 250-545-1361 District of Coldstream 250-545-5304 RDNO - Electoral Areas 250-550-3700
Rates are based on the actual cost to provide water. GVW does not receive any taxation money and the only outside source of income are grant funds that the utility seeks out to assist in reducing costs to customers. The current rates bylaw can be found here:
As a regional utility, GVW legally cannot run a deficit and each year’s annual expenses, including operation & maintenance, debt payments, construction and reserve contributions, must be recovered directly from user fees during that year or be funded from reserves.
All customers pay an Infrastructure Base Fee. The purpose of this fee is to cover approximately half the costs of the water system, ensuring a stable source of funds that won’t fluctuate based on water consumption. In a rainy year, water use may drop significantly but the majority of the cost to provide water on demand 24/7 to a property does not depend on the volume of water used.
A consumption charge per cubic metre of water used (in addition to the Infrastructure Base Fee) is levied to encourage efficient water use. This fee doesn’t reflect the actual cost to produce a cubic meter of water, but instead involves tiered fees that increase as the volume of water used increases.
A Water Meter Renewal Fee was created to equitably fund water meter replacement costs and ensure transparent accounting. GVW has begun a multi-year asset management program to better manage the costs associated with maintenance, repair, and replacement of infrastructure such as meters. The Infrastructure Base Fee was reduced to offset the introduction of this fee to customers.
Billing Information Water & Sewer Utility Billing How to Pay Your Utility Bill
- GVW Rates Imposition Bylaw No. 2864, 2020
- GVW Subdivision and Development Servicing – Bylaw No. 2650, 2013
- GVW Subdivision and Development Servicing Application Procedures and Administrative Fees - Bylaw No. 2658, 2015
- GVW Metering – Bylaw No. 2731, 2019
- GVW Use and Regulation – Bylaw No. 2545, 2014
- Cross Connection Control Regulation – Bylaw No. 2651, 2014
- Development Cost Charges – Bylaw No. 1983, 2004
- Greater Vernon Regional Water Supply Local Service Establishment - Bylaw No. 1262, 1994
- Ticket Information Authorization – Bylaw No. 2908, 2021
To ensure water remains clean and uncontaminated, the RDNO has a Cross Connection Control Program. Certain services at higher risk of introducing contaminates into the water system must install cross connection prevention devices as per the Regional District of North Okanagan Cross Connection Control Regulation Bylaw No. 2651, 2014. These devices prevent contaminates from flowing backward, in the rare but possible instances of reverse flow into the community water supply.
- Backflow Assembly Test Report
- Bacteria Water Sample Collection - New Water Line
- Cross Connection Assessment
- Development Variance Permit
- Extended Irrigation Season
- Encoder-Receiver-Transmitter (ERT) Opt Out
- Farm Classification
- Farm Classification - New Farm Supplement
- Fire Hydrant Request
- Garden Service
- Hydrant Use Permit
- Hydraulic Model
- Leak Adjustment
- Legal Document Amendment or Discharge
- Owners Appointment of an Agent
- Proof of Water
- Truck Fill Station/Standpipe User Agreement
- Water Allocation Adjustment (includes Purchase)
- Water Main Testing Checklist
- Water Meter Removal
- Water Service Application
Printed copies of these forms are also available at the RDNO office.
What is a Leak Adjustment and am I eligible to apply?
Where a property owner can provide plumber’s receipts or other pertinent evidence that a plumbing failure, resulting in an unexpected water loss, has been repaired, the property owner may complete a Leak Adjustment Application.
At the discretion of the General Manager, Utilities, a credit may be provided to the customer that is equal to half of the volume of the water loss. The water loss volume shall be calculated using the Water Meter data provided by the Encoder-Receiver-Transmitter (ERT). If the Water Meter has no ERT or there is insufficient data, then the water loss volume will be calculated by subtracting the historical average consumption of the billing quarter from the actual consumption. Historical averages will only include years in which a representative water use trend can be established, otherwise, estimates will be used based on typical consumption trends established by GVW.
Adjustments will be limited to the leak time as established by the ERT data if available. At maximum, all adjustments will be limited to the last two (2) quarters of billing, including the quarter when the repair was completed, but only if the credit volume is greater than 60 cubic metres.
The Leak Adjustment Application Fee will be subtracted from the billing credit allotted. Each property is limited to one (1) leak adjustment application every 36 months and may not apply for a subsequent adjustment for any leak involving the same plumbing.
Leak adjustments will NOT be considered for the following
- above-ground piping or fixtures and/or where the leak is visible and is not covered by housing, walls, or other permanent structures
- leaks caused by frozen piping or fixtures that are not sufficiently protected from frost or freezing
- broken sprinkler heads or above-ground sprinkler systems
- rental properties
- routine dripping or leaking faucets, or water leaking commodes/toilets
- any type of faulty fixture with the exception of catastrophic breaks that were fixed immediately
- new construction for a period of one (1) year.
Leak Adjustment Application Fee is the $60.00 application fee charged to submit a written request for consideration of a financial adjustment to a utility account due to a possible leak on a property.
Who do I call if I have questions and to submit an application?
City of Vernon customers 250-545-1361 District of Coldstream customers 250-545-5304
Regional District of North Okanagan
(Electoral Areas "B", "C" and Spallumcheen) customers
Greater Vernon Water 2017 Master Water Plan
A Master Water Plan (MWP) is a planning tool to guide water utility improvements and infrastructure renewal decisions to ensure investments are completed in an organized and cost effective manner. The GVW 2017 MWP provides a detailed assessment of the current status of the GVW water system and provides direction to ensure compliance with Provincial standards to safeguard health and to meet future water needs based on predicted growth for the next 40 years.
The GVW MWP is a project completed in partnership between the RDNO, City of Vernon, and the District of Coldstream. The 2017 MWP incorporates the technical work completed for the 2012 MWP and updates the long term supply and treatment direction and the financing strategy based on recommendations from the Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC (2015-2016)), results of recent studies completed, Provincial policy changes and other relevant information.
The GVW 2017 MWP has been endorsed by the RDNO Board of Director’s (Board) at their regular meeting held on November 15, 2017 and has been submitted to Interior Health (IH) for approval.
The following link provides the full GVW 2017 MWP report in pdf:Greater Vernon Water 2017 Master Water Plan (42.7 MB)
The following links provide each section of the GVW 2017 MWP separately for easy navigation:
Greater Vernon Water 2017 Master Water Plan Report (1.2 MB)
Appendix A - TM1: Domestic & Agricultural Water Demand Forecast (2.4 MB)
Appendix B - TM2: Evaluation of Water Supply Sources (1.3 MB)
Appendix C - TM3: Source Storage and Supply (4.3 MB)
Appendix D - TM4: Domestic Water System Analysis (2.8 MB)
Appendix E - TM5: Independent Agricultural System (4 MB)
Appendix F - TM6: Water Conservation Strategies (952 KB)
Appendix G - TM7: Water Treatment (4.1 MB)
Appendix H - TM8: GVW Financial Issues and Principles to Support the Master Water Plan (899 KB)
Appendix I - TM9: System Separation Option Analysis (5.6 MB)
Appendix J - TM10: GVW Financial Plan (1.1 MB)
Appendix K - Formal Agreement with Interior Health under Section 38 of the BC Public Health Act (142 KB)
Appendix L - 2017 Master Water Plan 25-Year Capital Plan (77 KB)
Technical Memorandum Summaries:
- TM Acronyms
- TM1 Summary
- TM2 Summary
- TM3 Summary
- TM4 Summary
- TM5 Summary
- TM6 Summary
- TM7 Summary
- TM8 Summary
- TM9 Summary
- TM10 Summary
The following references were used in the creation of the 2017 MWP:
- AECOM, October 8, 2014, Duteau Creek Water Treatment Plant - Filtration Pilot Testing Report. Prepared for the RDNO.
- Greater Vernon Water, May 2016 (GVW, 2016), 2012 Master Water Plan Review Stakeholder Advisory Committee Report
- Greater Vernon Water, October 24, 2017 (GVW, 2017), Chlorine Management Program Progress Report
- Stantec Consulting Ltd., December 22, 2016 (Stantec, 2016a), Duteau Creek Water Treatment Plant Protozoa Monitoring and Dissolved Air Floating Removal Review. Prepared for GVW.
- Stantec Consulting Ltd., December 22, 2016 (Stantec, 2016b), Duteau Creek Water Treatment Plant Disinfection By-products Aeration and Chlorination Testing Plan. Prepared for GVW.
- Urban Systems, March 2017, Asset Management Investment Plan, Greater Vernon Water, Parks and Culture. Prepared for RDNO.
To facilitate the formation of GVW in 2003 and to guide infrastructure improvements required to meet legislative requirements for drinking water, the GVW 2002 MWP was developed. This MWP was updated in 2004 to accommodate changes in the legislative environment and utility conditions. GVW continued to operate under the 2002/2004 MWP until the RDNO updated the MWP in 2011/2012 (The 2012 MWP was comprised of the same TM’s listed under the 2017 MWP).
During the creation of the 2012 MWP, GVW retained experienced engineers from three (3) different consulting companies in consultation with a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). The TAC was comprised of Chief Administrative Officers, engineers and water technologists from the RDNO, City of Vernon, District of Coldstream, as well as representatives from the agricultural community, and IH. In 2014, a referendum was held to borrow up to $70 million to complete six (6) priority projects identified in the 2012 MWP. The referendum failed and the RDNO Board created a SAC to receive input from a stakeholder and community perspective as to the adequacy and completeness of the 2012 MWP.
From the fall of 2015 to the spring of 2016, the SAC met monthly to complete an in-depth review of the 2012 MWP and provided a number of recommendations to the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee (GVAC) and the Board. These recommendations, provided in the link to the SAC report below, were used to move forward with the MWP planning process for GVW resulting in the 2017 MWP.
- Final Report (GVW May 2016 (GVW, 2016), 2012 MWP Review SAC Report).
GVW has year-round water restrictions, with no lawn sprinkler use allowed between the hours of 10:00 am - 7:00 pm, to limit water waste. Restrictions may be changed at any time to manage emergency loss of supply or drought. To learn more about ways you can make your home or business more waterwise, visit our water conservation page.
The Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO) - Greater Vernon Water (GVW) began a multi-year water meter and meter reading improvement program in 2015. The program entailed replacing the current “touch pad” manual meter reading technology with Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) technology and where applicable, replacing old meters.
The Water Meter Improvement Program:
- improved meter reading accuracy
- improved customer service
- reduced operational costs
- replaced ageing meters which are nearing the end of their serviceable life
- reduced the need for staff to enter properties and businesses to obtain meter reads.
AMR uses wireless radio frequency technology to collect meter reading data remotely using low frequency radio waves and these radio waves are generated by a battery powered device called an Encoder-Receiver-Transmitter (ERT). All GVW water meters will be retrofitted with an ERT, which is typically mounted to the outside of buildings. For most customers, ERTs will be installed by replacing the touchpad they currently have using the same wires. Some customers will have older meters that will also need to be replaced as they cannot be converted for use with AMR technology.
Opt Out Form
Encoder-Receiver-Transmitter (ERT) Opt Out
- Typical Irrigation Service - 38mm - 75mm
- Typical Outdoor Water Meter Box
- Typical Outdoor Water Meter Pit
- Typical Water Meter Installation in Building
How to Read Your Water Meter
GVW follows the Interior Health Water Quality Program, which is dedicated to achieving safe, clean, reliable drinking water as an essential component of a healthy community.
Annual and Monthly water quality reports are published to ensure transparency.
Residents can sign up for email notifications to follow water source changes or supply interruptions (planned or emergency).
How to use the Water Source Map
Determine your water source by following the instructions below:
- Enter your street address in the address search field below and click Search. Note: Street types are abbreviated, so for best search results, do not enter the street type. Example: 9848 ABERDEEN
- The street address and water source are displayed in the table below the search field.
- In order to see your property on the map, you must click on your street address in the table.
- If the search returns multiple results, you may sort the results by clicking the column headings in the table.
Note: the table and map show what water source you would normally be on (Duteau Creek source shows blue and Kalamalka Lake source shows turquoise on the map).
GVW relies on a number of water sources - Kalamalka Lake, Duteau Creek, Deer Creek, Okanagan Lake, and groundwater wells - delivering an average of 16 billion litres of water each year. The utility is committed to protecting public, environmental, and economic health through a comprehensive “source-to-tap” approach.
GVW is involved in several projects to protect our water quality and quantity, including:
- I'm A Wake - a program to raise awareness of the impacts that motorized recreation can have on our drinking water and the wildlife that live in our watershed.
Watershed Assessments - plans that identify current and future drinking water vulnerabilities. Assessments have been completed for the Duteau and Kalamalka Lake sources to characterize the risks and provides recommendations to reduce impacts on our watersheds.
- Duteau Creek Watershed Assessment
- Duteau Creek Watershed Assessment Response Plan
- Kalamalka Lake Watershed Assessment
- Kalamalka Lake Watershed Assessment Response Plan
Partnerships - Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations - to monitor the impacts of logging and cattle grazing on our water supplies, as well as human impacts from recreation. A hosted Recreation Site was established near Grizzly Lake to discourage damage to our drinking water reservoir from mudbogging and garbage dumping.
Okanagan Basin Water Board on numerous projects, including the Okanagan Water Supply and Demand Study which included studies on groundwater, stream-flows, environmental water needs, and water use – assessing water supplies and water demands through a computer accounting model.
- Administrative and Operating Policy for South Vernon Irrigation District East
- Greater Vernon Water Fire Hydrants on Private Property - Policy No. ENG-WTR-004
- Greater Vernon Water Purchase of Agricultural Water Allocation - Policy No. ENG-WTR-005
- Greater Vernon Water Service Area Expansion - Policy No. BPOL-004
- Latecomer Procedure - Policy No. ENG 001, and Procedure Manual
- Latecomer Application (Fillable)
- Maximum Number of Water Services - Policy No. ENG-WTR-001
- Statutory Right of Way Release - Policy No. BPOL-007
- Utility Acquisition - Policy No. ENG-WTR-002
New developments requiring water servicing from GVW must follow the following standards:
- Greater Vernon Water Subdivision and Development Servicing Bylaw No. 2650, 2013
- AC Pipe Crossing
- Air Valve Chamber
- Highway/Railway Crossing
- Typical Irrigation Service - 38mm - 75mm
- Typical Outdoor Water Meter Pit
- Typical Water Meter Installation in Building
- U Bend Detail
- Water Main Anchors
GVW's metering program requires water meters on all services. Please see the Greater Vernon Water Metering - Bylaw No. 2731, 2019 under Bylaws in this section.
Mission Hill Water Treatment Plant
The Mission Hill Water Treatment Plant (MHWTP) was commissioned in 2006. Plant capacity is 60ML, or 16 million gallons, per day. The Plant utilizes ultraviolet and chlorine (sodium hypochlorite) treatment on water sourced from Kalamalka Lake.
Duteau Creek Water Treatment Plant
The Duteau Creek Water Treatment Plant (DCWTP) was commissioned in 2010. Construction of the RDNO’s innovative UV Disinfection Facility, built adjacent to the core DCWTP, 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.
The following link provides background on the plant as it was originally constructed including construction costs:
- DCWTP 2010 Questions & Answers
- 2019 Media Release - UV Disinfection Facility Official Opening Plant Information
- DCWTP Process - Roadmap
Water Treatment Goals
Interior Health, the provincial organization responsible for monitoring drinking water, 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, (GVW achieves this via Sodium Hypochlorite disinfection) 3 log or 99.9% reduction or inactivation of Giardia and Cryptosporidium (provided by UV light) 2 treatment processes for all surface water (GVW has 3 processes: 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)
Learn more about the Water Treatment Plants
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 detailed tour of the Dissolved Air Floatation system still effectively used in the treatment plant. Ultraviolet treatment has since been added to the facility to further protect our community from waterborne illness risks. 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.
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.
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).
Refer to Master Water Plan for more information about future and completed infrastructure projects.