Kelowna Water Integration - Phase 1

Kelowna Integrated Water Phase 1, an $86-million, multi-year project, includes the separation of agricultural and domestic water systems in Southeast Kelowna and delivery of a sustainable water supply for 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 in South East Kelowna almost 10 years earlier than planned.

With construction having started in July 2018, the project is expected to be complete in 2020 and 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. 

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Construction updates
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.

Construction-related inquiries
Community Liaison Officer
Emil Anderson Construction

General project inquiries

Current & upcoming construction

Due to the design/build nature of the project, exact start and end dates are subject to change. The design/build process is being used because, as a 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.

Re-paving impacted roads will be complete by the end of paving season (end of November or sooner--weather dependent). Before paving can occur, the new water mains have to pass several tests.

SectionEstimated startEstimated end Latest impacts
Chute Lake Rd between Upper Mission Dr and South Crest Dr July 2018Nov. 2018Open with possible interruptions. Paving mid October.
Gordon Dr between Steele Rd and 380m south of Paret DrAug. 2018Nov. 2018Open with possible interruptions. Paving late October.
Crawford Rd between Dehart Rd and Westridge DrAug. 2018Nov. 2018Two lanes open with possible interruptions. Paving late October.
Wallace Hill Rd between Sallows Rd and Mathews RdSept. 2018Nov. 2018Two lanes open with possible interruptions. Paving early October.
Saucier Rd between Bedford Rd and Sallows RdSept. 2018Oct. 2018Single lane alternating with delays of up to 15 minutes. 
Quilchena CrSept. 2018Oct. 2018Closed. Local access maintained for residents and businesses located in the work zone. Paving mid October.
Westridge Dr between Canyon Ridge Dr and Stewart Rd WSept. 2018Oct. 2018Closed. Detours signed. Access to sidewalk maintained for people walking.
Frost Rd between Killdeer Rd and Bunting CtOct. 2018Oct. 2018Closed to through traffic. Local access maintained for residents and businesses located in the work zone, with delays of up to 15 minutes.
Frost Rd between Seon Cr and Southridge DrOct. 2018Oct. 2018Closed to through traffic. Local access maintaine for residents and businesses in the work zone. Paving late October.
Steele Rd W from 794 to 827 Steele RdOct. 2018Oct. 2018Closed. Local access maintained for residents and businesses located in the work zone. Detour for through traffic via South Ridge Dr. 
Dehart Rd between Swamp Rd and Crawford Rd Oct. 4 2018Oct. 2018Closed to through traffic. Local access maintained for residents and businesses located within the work zone, transit, and people walking and on bicycles. Detour available via Stewart Rd W and Crawford R. Paving late October.
Stewart Rd W between Westridge Drive and south end of Stewart Rd WOct. 2018Oct. 2018Open. Single lane alternating with possible delays of up to 15 minutes.
Dehart Rd between Crawford Rd and Casorso RdOct. 2018 (TBD)Nov. 2018Closed to through traffic. Local access maintained for residents and businesses located within the work zone, transit, and people walking and on bicycles. Detour available via Crawford Rd and Stewart Rd W. Paving in November.
Bedford Rd between Takla Rd and Saucier RdOct. 22, 2018Nov. 2018 (early)Closed to through traffic. Local access maintained for residents and businesses located within the work zone, transit, and people walking and on bicycles. Detour via Takla Rd.
Stewart Rd ENov. 2018Nov. 2018 (late)Single lane alternating.
Saucier Rd from Wallace Hill Rd and Grantham RdOct. 2018Nov. 2018Closed. Access maintained for properties located within the work zone. Detour via Wallace Hill Rd.
Raymer Rd near Woodhaven ParkOct. 2018TBDTBD
Stewart Rd W from Bedford Rd to Saucier/Stewart Rd W intersectionNov. 7 2018Spring 2019Closed. Access maintained for properties located within the work zone. Detours signed.
Casorso Rd from Dehart Rd to 4020 Casorso Rd.Nov. 5 2018Nov. 2018Single lane alternating with possible delays of up to 15 minutes.
Hughes RdOct. 2018 (TBD)Nov. 2018Single lane alternating with possible delays of up to 15 minutes.

Last updated: Nov. 6, 2018

Construction steps

Integrated water project construction steps

Phase 1
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 a 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.


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 water

Agriculture is an important part of our community. The integration of SEKID and SOMID starts a new era that will see the City utility operating and delivering irrigation water to support agriculture. The City is currently reviewing agriculture irrigation rate design based on public consultation this past winter 2017 During the SEKID transition and beyond, further engagement with the agricultural community is needed around the long term delivery and security of irrigation water. As a first step, City staff have proposed an Advisory Committee to advise City staff on agricultural water matters in South East Kelowna. In the short term, Council will also consider maintaining rates and allocations set by SEKID until 2021.

What are the benefits of the Phase 1 project for 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 will the City 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. 

What about 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 2019.

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.

How construction might affect you

Construction of Phase 1 began in July 2018 starting in the South Mission. Construction plans were overviewed at an information session on June 27. Refer to the "Documents" tab at the top of this page for related construction information.

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 to 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.


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.

Emergency access

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

Garbage pick up & mail delivery

Garbage pick-up and mail delivery will proceed as normal.

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 location

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

New water can be expected when the entire water network is completed in 2020. Until the project is complete, you will continue using the existing SEKID water supply.

Until the entire project is complete in 2020, residents must follow SEKID water quality notifications for Southeast Kelowna.