OK Falls wastewater treatment facility officially opens

The new wastewater treatment plant in Okanagan Falls, opened on July 3, was built to handle sewage generated from beyond the community

Regional District Okanagan Similkameen Engineer Lisa Bloomfield describes treatment processes at the OK Falls sewage treatment plant

Regional District Okanagan Similkameen Engineer Lisa Bloomfield describes treatment processes at the OK Falls sewage treatment plant

The pristine new wastewater treatment plant in Okanagan Falls, officially opened on July 3, was built to potentially handle sewage generated from far beyond the community itself, as future plans call for it to process effluent from Kaleden, Skaha Estates, and Lakeshore Highlands.

It was somewhat ironic, then, to find two porta potties set up next to the facility during the plant’s grand opening last Wednesday.

Fortunately, capacity wasn’t the issue. Regional district organizers wanted to ensure there were adequate facilities for the entourage that showed up to celebrate the plant’s official opening.

Okanagan Falls’ new 11.7 million dollar  treatment facility is surprisingly quiet, efficient (the sewage is used to heat and cool the operations building) and astonishingly odour free, due to state of the art technologies employed there.

Touted as a community effort that involved the input of many Okanagan Falls residents, the  grand opening saw many regional district directors show up to view the site – including a number of downstream directors.

“From the Ososyoos Director  – with respect to the official opening of that new facility in Okanagan Falls yesterday – thank you, thank you, thank you,” Alternate Director C.J. Rhodes told the regional district board during the director’s verbal update at the board meeting on July 4.

Future plans include further enhancement of the discharged waters from the plan through wetlands dispersal in the nearby Vaseux wetlands. The project is on hold while Ducks Unlimited currently studies the issue of endocrine disruptors – not removed during the treatment process – and their effects on the environment.