NOWRP Community Update – July 2020

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Welcome to the first of many updates from the North Okanagan Wastewater Recovery Project Team. Over the next four years, North Okanagan residents and businesses in the Swan Lake area will be transitioning from a septic to a community water system that will have many positive environmental, economic and agricultural impacts for the area. There are many moving parts to a project of this size including governance, infrastructure design, environmental approvals and more. Through these updates, we want to keep you informed as we progress through this project and into construction.

About the North Okanagan Wastewater Recovery Project

The North Okanagan Wastewater Recovery Project is the result of a unique partnership launched in 2015 by the Regional District
of North Okanagan (RDNO), Township of Spallumcheen and Okanagan Indian Band (OKIB) to improve water quality in Swan Lake and local streams and to provide economic development opportunities through the implementation of a community sewer system. The project will provide sewer service to residents and businesses in portions of RDNO Electoral Areas B and C, the Township of Spallumcheen’s southeast industrial area and the ability to service parts of OKIB.

Progress Highlights

Here’s what we’ve been up to:

  • Work continues on the $36.9 million North Okanagan multi-year project. The Township of Spallumcheen, on behalf of the
    partnership, has received the first installment from the $24.3
    million grant from the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Fund
    to deliver the North Okanagan Wastewater Recovery Project
    to the community. Planning is underway.
  • Efforts to improve the environmental integrity of Greenhow Creek have begun through initial fall and spring assessments in accordance with Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development regulations.
  • Our technical team has met regularly to identify options for how the wastewater recovery project will be governed for the partner communities of the Okanagan Indian Band, Township of Spallumcheen and the Regional District of North Okanagan. Based on the previously signed memorandums of understanding between the three partners, these options identify the principles, policies and agreements for cost-sharing and operating the system for each partner to consider.
  • Preliminary design of the wastewater recovery facility and collection system piping alignments have begun.
  • Municipal Wastewater Registration (MWR) process has started, which includes undertaking environmental impact studies that will ensure treated water re-use will comply with the 96 conditions as per MWR requirements.
  • Preliminary work, including developing the design drawings for the tenders for construction, will take roughly two years.
  • Project signage will soon be complete, which will be erected at the site of the wastewater recovery facility.

What’s Next?

The project is underway, and we are currently in PHASE 2: DESIGN, which should be complete at the end of 2021.

Over the summer and into the fall, here’s what’s next:

  • Completing the 96 conditions as per the MWR process
  • Refining the design of the collection system and of the wastewater treatment facility
  • Environmental assessments and initial improvements to Greenhow Creek
  • Sign raising event to officially mark the location of the new wastewater treatment facility

North Okanagan Wastewater Recovery facility proposed site map

Still have questions? Read the FAQs for more information.