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Utilty rate increases gets water users coming and going

Kelowna's waste water treatment facility on Raymer Ave.
February 17, 2015 - 12:08 PM

KELOWNA - They get you if you pour or flush. Kelowna city council has approved a two per cent increase in rates for both city water and waste water utilities.

Beginning in May, rates for customers drawing city water — about half the businesses and houses in Kelowna — will climb about $.59 a month for the average residential user drawing 49 cubic metres of water and $.60 next year.

Waste water disposal rates will also climb by $.38 a month per household this year and $.39 in 2016. Commercial and industrial users will see an increase of $.02 per cubic metre for everything they put down the drain. The increase covers about 70 per cent of residential and commercial buildings in Kelowna.

Director of corporate ventures John Vos told councillors both increases stem from the long view of infrastructure replacement and demand from growth. “Our assets are aging,” he said. “We have been replacing cast iron pipes for a number of years and there’s more to go.”

In separate reports, Vos said Kelowna’s water system needs about $43 million worth of “asset renewal” over the next 20 years while the waste water system needs $76 million over the same period. “Our sewer utility is an asset worth about $760 million and is quite a bit bigger with some 700 km of pipe,” said Vos.

Kelowna’s city water utility draws water from Okanagan Lake through four major pump stations while the waste water treatment facility handles all of Kelowna’s sewage and returns potable water back into the lake. The biosolids collected there are used as part of Ogogrow compost product.

To contact the reporter for this story, email John McDonald at jmcdonald@infotelnews.ca or call 250-808-0143. To contact the editor, email mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © iNFOnews, 2015

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