Kelowna Water Integration - Phase 1

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Kelowna Integrated Water Phase 1, an $86-million, multi-year project, will separate agricultural and domestic water systems in Southeast Kelowna and deliver a sustainable water supply to agriculture in the South Mission. The project will bring clean drinking water to about 2,000 households and meet Interior Health’s 2025 clean drinking water mandate almost 10 years earlier than planned in Southeast Kelowna. Expected to be complete by 2021, this is the first phase of the City’s vision to see a city-wide integrated water system through the 2017 Kelowna Integrated Water Supply plan. Information about construction impacts and contacts is listed below. 

View construction progress map

Water pressure fluctuations

As your home gets connected to clean drinking water and is supplied from a new water source, you may notice a change to your water pressure. While any changes to the system pressure are within normal bylaw ranges, please be advised that as per the City of Kelowna Water Regulation Bylaw 10480, fluctuations to the system pressure may occur at any time and without notice.  As such, the City encourages all properties to ensure that they have a functioning pressure reducing valve (PRV) to safeguard their plumbing.

Learn more

While most homes within SEKID already have a PRV as required by SEKID Bylaw #671, failure to have a functioning PRV could result in “knocking” or damage to existing piping or appliances throughout the household at the expense of the homeowner.  In addition to protecting your plumbing, PRVs can help with water conservation and increase energy savings, as higher pressures result in wasted water.  It’s been estimated a house with a properly installed and functioning PRV can save as much as 30% on domestic water heating costs.

Note that PRVs have varying life expectancies, and most require replacing or servicing around the ten-year mark.  If you already have an existing PRV, an annual check of your household water pressure is recommended to ensure that your PRV is functioning properly.

A typical PRV is shown in the image below and would usually be installed near the main shut off valve where your water service enters your house.  A PRV can be installed by any professional plumbing company. 

Phase 1
Contact & notification

A community liaison, working with the contractor, will notify residents and businesses adjacent to construction, facilitate requests, and address construction-related concerns. Residents and businesses located within 60 metres of the construction zone will receive direct notification of upcoming construction in their area. You can also sign up for general project email updates.

Construction-related inquiries
Community Liaison Officer
Emil Anderson Construction
250-801-3024 
CLO@eac.bc.ca 

General project inquiries
Kelowna Integrated Water Project
250-469-8561

Report an issue

Q & A

What's included in Phase 1?

  • The project includes major upgrades to the City’s core south-end water infrastructure including the two main pump stations, expansion of reservoir capacity and large diameter transmission main; and a new separated water system to serve existing South East Kelowna Irrigation District (SEKID) domestic customers with year-round clean water that includes water distribution main, two new pumping stations and expanded reservoir storage.

Why have costs increased?

  • This project budget increase is partly a result of updated water demand requirements in some areas of Southeast Kelowna as well as the volume of infrastructure projects currently being built across the province. $51.4M of SEKID's $58.2 M budget is dedicated specifically to building the new drinking water distribution system; separation of agriculture and domestic was always part of the plan.

What about the plan to build wells - can we go back to that?

  • The source of water is a small proportion of the overall project cost. The majority of the cost, 88 %, is building the new domestic water distribution system in Southeast Kelowna – which was always part of the plan.
  • The SEKID project is the Province's approved solution to drinking water quality through the 2017 Value planning study of the 2012 Kelowna integrated water supply plan.  This was a requirement of senior government funding.  The plan will provide all Southeast Kelowna residents clean drinking water 10 years earlier than originally planned though a fully integrated connection to the City’s Water Utility.

How are cost proportioned for this project? Why doesn’t the City just “pay for it”?

  • Costs are attributed to either the City or SEKID based on the percentage of benefit received (by SEKID and/or City ratepayers). Ratepayers are expected to pay the costs required to bring their system up to the level of the city’s service. Once integrated into one utility, all future benefit and costs will be spread over the entire utility.
  • The City of Kelowna has done all possible – including re-scoping the project­ and financing –  to reduce cost and risk to both SEKID and current City ratepayers.

What happens if we don’t take advantage of the $43.9 million grant?

  • Despite project cost increases, 80% of $43.9M grant is applied directly to SEKID portions of the project costs and pay for more than 60% of SEKID overall costs.  
  • Interior Health has required that all domestic drinking water systems meet Canadian Drinking Water Quality standards by 2025. Based on today’s construction costs, demand and rates, SEKID ratepayers would pay an estimated $1,900 annually for 20-years to meet this standard without the grant.

Why did SEKID have to dissolve?

  • Integration with the City utility is a requirement by the Province to access the $43.9M in grant funding.

Why didn’t you tell us about the project cost increase sooner?

  • Due to confidential negotiations with the project contractor, the City was unable to disclose details about the project costs until the project was awarded on April 27. 
  • We appreciate that this has been frustrating for ratepayers and that there are many questions. Please consider attending the open house, signing up for email updates or visiting the city’s website for more information. City staff will be available regularly to assist you with any concerns you may have.

Why is the design/build process used for this project?

  • As condition of the $43.9M grant, the project has a tight timeline. Design/build processes help condense project length as design and construction occur at the same time. Design/build is used for significant, complex projects to control market driven costs and reduce the risk of budget increase over the length of the project.

Does removal of the KLO Road transmission main affect service delivery of clean water to South East Kelowna?

  • No, but it does impact resiliency. The water delivery model has been modified and all the drinking water will now come solely from the south Crawford area. The KLO Road trunk and associated increased capacity in Adams and Hayes reservoirs were originally planned to add redundancy for the system and help meet future demand – an important principle in the Kelowna Integrated Water Supply Plan.
  • The KLO Road transmission main will need to be completed in the future, but is deferred to help save some immediate costs.  

What’s the status of the remaining 2017 Kelowna Integrated Water Supply Plan?

  • Phase 1 of the 2017 Kelowna Integrated Water Supply Plan has been the focus of City staff for over four years now. There is a significant amount of work left to do to ensure the project is successful and the integration goes smoothly. 
  • We are working on an area-wide water plan with multiple stakeholders. The Plan is looking holistically at water throughout the entire Kelowna Water Basin. We will also do further modelling and detailed planning on the 2017 Plan to prepare for another senior government grant application.
  • We will re-engage with the Province and other Irrigation Districts to determine if there is interest in working together on the above initiatives.
Financing for South Kelowna ratepayers

Southeast Kelowna Irrigation District's (SEKID) portion of the project shortfall is $15.3 million. On May 14, City Council approved a budget amendment to provide City financing to SEKID ratepayers.

SEKID will start repaying this financing through a project fee of $32 per month to all domestic ratepayers, starting July 2018. In 2021, when Southeast Kelowna ratepayers will move to lower City Domestic water fees and rates, the re-payment will increase to about $40 per month until the shortfall cost is recovered. 

To reduce the impact on SEKID ratepayers, the City altered project scope and deferred some long-range components to reduce the financial impact to SEKID ratepayers.

Read details about the projects costs, funding model and typical domestic cost comparison in the newsletter to SEKID ratepayers or browse the display panels from the open house held May 17, 2018.

Funding

This project was made possible due to an unprecedented senior government grant of $43.9 million in March 2017. The balance of project costs will be paid for by both the City of Kelowna and the South East Kelowna Irrigation District. Portions and costs for the project are allocated based on percentage of benefit received.

In early 2018, construction cost increases and increased demand requirements saw the project budget rise from $63.5 million to $86 million. The City’s $6 million portion of the project shortfall will be funded through utility reserves. 

Agriculture
Benefits to agriculture

The Phase 1 project provides new benefits for irrigation water users. Once the new domestic system is in place, the existing distribution system will become a dedicated supply of minimally-treated water for irrigation and some fire protection.

This model of separated systems supports agriculture interests by reclaiming the capacity used by previous domestic customers, and spreads cost of ongoing maintenance and future infrastructure of this aging system over the entire City utility. For resiliency, the domestic water supply could also be used in an emergency or water shortage.

How the City will work with agriculture

The City of Kelowna recognizes the need and importance of a vibrant agricultural industry. During the SEKID transition and beyond, a number of actions are being considered to support Agriculture and ensure a strong transition of the irrigation system.

On May 14, 2018 Council approved:

  • maintaining agricultural rates and allocations for water set by SEKID until 2021.
  • developing a transition advisory committee on agricultural water matters in South East Kelowna.
  • committing to an inclusive engagement process with the agricultural industry regarding delivery and security of irrigation water.

The City and SEKID have been working over the past year on a transition plan that welcomes all SEKID employees to continue their employment with the City of Kelowna.  This will ensure continuity of service and valuable knowledge transfer. 

Agricultural/irrigation rates

A new Agricultural rate structure is currently being determined based on feedback from the Agricultural community this past winter. A proposed rate structure is expected to be presented to Council in 2020, with new rates to take effect in 2021. In the meantime, existing SEKID rates and allocations for both domestic and agricultural rates will remain in place until new rates are adopted for 2021.

2019 consultation update

Residents are invited to attend a drop-in open house to learn more about the proposed rate design. Open houses will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 26, from 1 to 4:30 p.m. at Reid Hall (2279 Benvoulin Rd.), and on Thursday, Nov. 28, from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at the Capital News Centre. Those unable to attend in person can review the proposed rate structure online from Nov. 18 to Dec. 6 at getinvolved.kelowna.ca.

Construction impacts
Business access

Businesses will be open during construction, though customers might have to take a short detour to get where they want to go. If you have any concerns about construction-related impacts to your business, contact the Community Liaison Officer. For more information about business planning during a construction project, review the Open During Construction guide for businesses. 

Construction work times

Generally Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., but at times until 10 p.m. Work may occur outside of these hours to mitigate traffic impacts.

Detours, emergency access & transit

All traffic detours will be clearly marked and communicated to residents prior to construction. Where detours are not possible, single-lane alternating traffic will be in place with no more than 15-minute waits. 

School buses will operate as normal. Detours that impact school routes will be communicated to the school district and residents.

The City will ensure that notice is given to event organizers and that construction is clearly marked for recreational users and people on bicycles.

All emergency services are notified prior to all road closures and are given alternate routes. 

As transit routes serving this area may experience delays due to construction, visit bctransit.com/kelowna or call 250-860-8121 for schedules and plan travel accordingly.

Garbage pick-up & mail delivery

Garbage pick-up and mail delivery should proceed as normal. If you are experiencing delays in mail delivery, please contact your mail provider. Should a Canada Post delivery be delayed, mail will be held at the Canada Post sorting office located at 750 Baillie Ave, open from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Moving farm equipment

The Community Liaison will work with you to find out what times you need to move equipment and will work with the construction team to minimize impacts.

Pump station & reservoir facilities

The new pump stations and reservoir facilities at Jean Road and Stellar Road will be located on City-owned parcels. The Jean Road facility will require three per cent of the 46.4 acre parcel. After construction of the Jean Road facility, the property outside of the construction area can be used by the public as it is today. This parcel was acquired specifically for a future water storage facility. 

Restoring property

Items and existing features adjacent to the road right of way, or on the Statutory Right of Way Agreement, that are permitted to be there will be restored.

Request a new service connection

To ask about how to add a new service connection on your property, contact the SEKID office at 250-861-4200.

Sewer lines

Sewer is not a consideration as part of this project. Sewer lines are generally driven by the residents bringing the need to the attention of the City. The areas needing sewer are then prioritized for grant applications and local area service. Neighborhoods generally pay the cost of the sewer project, and grants are typically needed to reduce the cost burden to residents getting the service. 

Street impact & access

Impacted residents will be informed prior to pre-construction activities. Residents will receive a package that explains how their road is impacted and the timeline of construction. Local access will be maintained through construction. Traffic signs will be posted.

Utility additions & service disruptions

Advance notice will be provided before planned work that will disrupt water, gas, power and/or communications.

Underground powerlines are not within the scope of this project.

Adding other utilities is not within the scope of this project. Bike lanes are also not planned.

Vibration & dust

Depending on ground conditions, residents might feel vibrations from pipe and roadway installation. Dust will be suppressed by water as needed.

Work on property

Work may occur on your property depending on the Statutory Right of Way Agreement. You will be contacted by the Community Liaison Officer, who will provide you with information on the timing and work to be done. New service connections require some work along your property line. The impact will be minimal, and you will be given prior notice.

Water timing, quality & service connections

Properties will be connected to the City water utility as the project progresses; however, a water quality advisory is in place for the newly installed water system during construction. This water quality advisory is a precaution until the entire system is complete.

Water pressure fluctuations & pressure reducing valves

As your home gets connected to clean drinking water and is supplied from a new water source, you may notice a change to your water pressure. While any changes to the system pressure are within normal bylaw ranges, please be advised that as per the City of Kelowna Water Regulation Bylaw 10480, fluctuations to the system pressure may occur at any time and without notice.  As such, the City encourages all properties to ensure that they have a functioning pressure reducing valve (PRV) to safeguard their plumbing.

While most homes within SEKID already have a PRV as required by SEKID Bylaw #671, failure to have a functioning PRV could result in “knocking” or damage to existing piping or appliances throughout the household at the expense of the homeowner.  In addition to protecting your plumbing, PRVs can help with water conservation and increase energy savings, as higher pressures result in wasted water.  It’s been estimated a house with a properly installed and functioning PRV can save as much as 30% on domestic water heating costs.

Note that PRVs have varying life expectancies, and most require replacing or servicing around the ten-year mark.  If you already have an existing PRV, an annual check of your household water pressure is recommended to ensure that your PRV is functioning properly.

A typical PRV is shown in the image below and would usually be installed near the main shut off valve where your water service enters your house.  A PRV can be installed by any professional plumbing company. 

Pump station & reservoir facilities
Jean Road reservoir & pump station

This new domestic water system will provide Southeast Kelowna Irrigation District customers with higher quality, reliable drinking water. The system's preliminary design requires a reservoir and pump station at a very specific elevation in order to meet water pressure, flow and emergency storage requirements.

Location

The elevation of the property at 4075 Jean Road makes it ideally suited for this facility, and the property was acquired by the City of Kelowna specifically as a location for a future water storage facility. This property is not designated as a park and, as it is already owned by the City of Kelowna, it is available for no extra expense to the project or to system users.

Recreational use during construction

Recreational uses such as hiking or horseback riding will continue to be permitted on the majority of this forested site. The total land area of the City’s parcel is 46.4 acres. About 1.4 acres will be used for the water facility, leaving approximately 45 acres for recreational use.

Environmental impacts

The site where this facility will be built was chosen to avoid disturbing environmentally sensitive areas as much as possible. The access road and water main and power connections to the site from Jean Road will be designed to minimize impacts. A second water main also needs to be constructed between the reservoir and Gallagher’s Fairway South. A route will be selected that minimizes the need to remove trees, and the area will be restored with natural surface cover.

The reservoir will be partially buried in a forested area in order to minimize its visual impact. The site will be fenced, and additional trees and native shrubs will be planted to further screen the site. An environmental impact assessment for this project was conducted, and best practices for work in sensitive areas will be strictly followed for both construction and operation of the facility. The facility will be operated by highly trained and experienced City of Kelowna staff. Re-chlorination for water quality may be conducted here but presents no risk to residents or the environment. Periodic reservoir cleaning and flushing will also be conducted in strict compliance with environmental regulations.

Impacts to neighbours

The current zoning requires a minimum distance of three metres between a structure and the property line. This reservoir will be located 40 meters from the property line to provide an additional 37 metres of buffer between the facility and neighbouring properties. The pump station attached to the reservoir will not create noise issues. Noise that may be heard near the station from time to time is from the backup generator during a power outage or testing. Noise from the pumps themselves will be dampened within the concrete building, and the generator will meet noise dampening requirements.

Every effort will be made to minimize disturbances during construction. There is unfortunately no simple way to complete the work without some disruption. This inconvenience is required to provide residents of Southeast Kelowna with clean, reliable drinking water.

Stellar Road pump station & reservoir

The city-owned parcel where this facility is located is 0.35 acres in size and adjacent to the road. Construction is underway and expected to be complete by the end of 2019. Construction work will generally occur Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Pump noise will be dampened within concrete building and meet noise dampening requirements. Some noise might be heard from the  backup generator during a power outage or testing, but noise should remain similar to what is heard from the current facility. 

Traffic impacts will be minor. Some occasional, short-term traffic control might be required.

Every effort will be made to minimize disturbances during construction. There is unfortunately no simple way to complete the work without some disruption. This inconvenience is required to provide residents of Southeast Kelowna with clean, reliable drinking water.