City Water Utility

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City Water Utility 

The City Water Utility is one of four water providers in Kelowna. To verify which water district supplies water for your specific address, please visit our Find your water provider page.

The City Water Utility sources its water from Okanagan Lake and provides water to just over half of the Kelowna population. We serve approximately 73,000 customers from four main intakes at Poplar Point, Eldorado and Cedar Creek, and the Swick Road pump stations.

The South East Kelowna Irrigation District (SEKID) was dissolved by the province in June 2018, and all assets and liabilities were transferred to us. Our domestic water system is being expanded into Southeast Kelowna through Phase 1 of the Kelowna Integrated Water Supply Plan to provide area residents with water that meets Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines. We have created a webpage with important information for former SEKID customers.

Keep up to date on water information by subscribing to the following lists via kelowna.ca/notifications:

  • Kelowna Intergrated Water Supply Plan – Phase 1 e-updates
  • Drinking water quality e-updates
  • Agriculture water e-updates
Water notices in effect
Commitment to quality

Committed to protecting public, environmental and economic health, the Utility has adopted a source-to-tap water management approach that includes watershed protection, water quality monitoring, treatment, distribution system maintenance, cross-connection control and water-use efficiency. Local health authorities have described our Water Utility’s source-to-tap program as one of the best in B.C. The program’s goal is to identify hazards and weaknesses that can affect the safety and quality of our drinking water supply.

There are six barriers in our multi-barrier approach:

Source protection

In 2019, the City Utility finalized a source protection report and source protection plan from our 2011 source assessment. The plan is meant to be a living document that is updated and changed over the years as water quality and quantity changes.

Get involved in our Clean water volunteer programs to support the source protection program.

Drinking water treatment

Our water system uses two types of treatment at each intake before entering the distribution system: UV dosing and chlorination disinfection.

Water main flushing

Regular flushing is an important component of a comprehensive water management program. We flush 310 kilometres of water main annually to prevent bacterial re-growth and stagnation in low circulation areas of the distribution system. Flushing is generally done between March and October.

Our Water Utility uses “uni-directional” flushing. This means the valves in the pipe network are closed in sequence, drawing water from previously flushed pipes through the pipe that is to be cleaned. This ensures that all pipes are refreshed and that minor sediment within the pipes is removed.

Additionally, all storage reservoirs are also drained, scrubbed and disinfected annually.

Monitoring

Our drinking water quality is monitored 24 hours a day through our SCADA system. More than 1,000 individual water quality tests are completed on our water system every month.

Operator training

Our technicians, who are responsible for water quality sampling and analysis, have all completed a two-year water quality diploma program. All our water system operators have completed Level 1 Water Treatment and Level 2 Water Distribution certificates through the Environmental Operators Certificate Program.

Emergency response planning

In the event of an emergency related to our drinking water quality and/or water utility infrastructure, we have a Water Utility Emergency Preparedness & Response Plan (WUEPR) in place. The WUEPR has set out policies and procedures to prepare and manage for any emergency events that arise. There is a public notification protocol to support the WUEPR that provides formal procedures in notifying the public of any emergencies. There’s also a turbidity response plan - part of the Water Quality Sampling Protocol – that operators can refer to when turbidity levels are outside regular thresholds.

Water disconnect and connect requests

All residential and commercial buildings are equipped with a main water turn-off valve that’s located at the water meter. You can turn this valve off and back on at any time without the use of any special tools and without notifying us in advance.

Learn more

If you need a City Utility staff member to come on-site to turn your water off or on, you may submit an online service request or call 250-469-8501 (Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.). Please note that a $35 fee that will be invoiced on your City Utility bill for each water turn-off/turn-0n request as per Water Regulation Bylaw #104800.

If you need work done on the water line between a water shut-off valve at the meter and the curb stop at the street, please submit your water turn-off request at least 24 hours in advance of the anticipated work date. If you experience an emergency water line break between the curb stop and the main water shut-off valve in the house, please call us immediately.

Emergency water requests

After-hour emergency requests can be called in to 250-469-8600. A $160 fee will be invoiced on your City Utility bill for emergency water disconnection (shut-off) or connection (turn-on) requests during off-hours.

Groundwater well use and declaration

Under the new Well Regulation Bylaw, all well owners must confirm with the City whether they plan to either: formally decommission their well to be connected to the City Water Utility; continue to use their well for irrigation; or continue to use their well for domestic purposes. We will assist owners with determining next steps. Property owners within the former SEKID area, in particular, are asked to contact us to confirm if a water well exists on their property.

To self-report your property’s water well status, please complete the groundwater well use declaration form and submit to the Water Integration Office at integratedwater@kelowna.ca.