About the North Okanagan Wastewater Recovery Project ​

Project Partners

The North Okanagan Wastewater Recovery Project (NOWRP) is the result of a unique partnership by the Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO), Township of Spallumcheen and Okanagan Indian Band (OKIB). Currently, this is one of the last developed areas of the Okanagan without a community sewer system.

This project’s goal is to improve water quality in Swan Lake and local streams, support agriculture and to provide economic development opportunities through the implementation of a community sewer system.

The partnership offers four significant benefits:

  • It provides an opportunity to turn wastewater into a valuable resource with positive environmental, agricultural, recreational, and economic impacts for all three jurisdictions.
  • It ensures ownership, operations, and costing flexibility to meet each jurisdiction’s needs.
  • It has strengthened applications for provincial and federal grant funding and has helped secure $33.8M in funding so far.
  • It guarantees input from all jurisdictions through the Wastewater Recovery Community Working Group, thereby ensuring diverse community wants and needs continue to be reflected in project outcomes.

Building the community sewer system now is an investment in the future of this region and will bring wastewater treatment to the area at a reasonable cost to both residential and commercial/industrial property owners.

Project Funding

The estimate for the North Okanagan Wastewater Recovery Project is $48M. This estimate will be updated once a contractor has been selected for the construction.

More than 80% of the total project cost will be covered by grant funding, with $24.3M in grant funding received in September 2019 and an additional $9.5M received in June 2023.

Over the past several years, the North Okanagan Wastewater Recovery Project has faced escalating construction costs. Materials, labour and fuel costs have been impacted by wildfires and flooding, supply chain disruptions and inflation. To cover the increased costs, the project team sought out additional funding to bring an affordable, fiscally responsible community wastewater system to the North Okanagan.

In June 2023, the Regional District of North Okanagan received $9.5 million from the Province of BC to expand community sewer services to sections of electoral areas that rely on septic systems. This additional funding will enable work to resume on the NOWRP.

Some of the options being explored include:

  • Seeking additional grant opportunities
  • Exploring more partnership opportunities (i.e. with the development industry, municipal partners and more)
  • Reviewing options for project phasing
  • Looking into alternative cost recovery tools such as DCCs (development cost charges)

Support of the Project

In 2019, the RDNO circulated a petition to seek owner approval to borrow the required funds needed to build the community wastewater system. That petition found: 63% of parcels were in favour. 78% of the value of affected properties were in favour.

Project Delivery

Construction is scheduled to start in Spring 2024, which will also bring in local job opportunities. The project is scheduled for completion in late 2025.

• Refining project costs and design.

• Securing additional funding to cover increasing construction costs.

• Construction to start Spring 2024.

• Project completion 2025.
• Archaeological Overview Assessment.

• Value Engineering Analysis.

• Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) model selected to improve project costs without sacrificing level of service.

• General contractor selected.
• Preliminary design of the wastewater system.

• Fisheries assessment.
• RDNO open house is help for Electoral Areas B and C.

• Over petition: 63% parcels and 78% of the value of RDNO affected properties in favour of borrowing to support the project.

• Open houses held in the OKIB and Township.

• Received $24.3M of combined Provincial and Federal government funding (Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program-Envirnonmental Quality Program).
• Phase 2 Feasibility Study refines technical elements and examines funding opportunities

• Survey find 76% of Local Area Plan open house respondents support the community sewer for environmental and economic reasons.

• Application to the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program for a $24.3M grant is submitted.

• Wastewater Recovery Community Working Group is formed to provide local perspectives.
• Province funds $10,000 to support further project planning
• Second water quality assessment recommends community sewer system.

• Phase 1 Feasibility Study reports the project is technically and financially viable with senior government funding support.

• RDNO Employment Lands Report shows support of sewer project; find teh project would support economic development.
• An innovative partnership between the Regional District of North Okanagan, Township of Spallumcheen and Okanagan Indian Band forms and the project Launches.

• First water quality assessment find Sawn Lake negatively impacted by failing septic systems.