The city will receive funding worth more than $9 million. (Pexels)

The city will receive funding worth more than $9 million. (Pexels)

$9M grant expands sewer access for Kelowna residents

The city received the money through the ICIP-Green Infrastructure grant program

Sewer projects in three areas of Kelowna will receive funding worth more than $9 million through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP)-Green Infrastructure grant program.

The areas, which are currently on septic, are Central Rutland, Rio/Rialto and the Mission Creek crossing for future servicing of the Hall Road area.

Mayor Colin Basran said the $9 million grant will support sewer infrastructure expansion to replace more than 630 of the approximately 2,500 septic systems still in use in urban areas within our city limits.

“The Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, along with $3.3 million available in collected connection area reserves held by the city, will be used to fund construction of sewer projects,” he explained.

These properties will benefit from a safe, reliable and environmentally sustainable wastewater treatment and effluent disposal system, according to the City of Kelowna.

Rod MacLean, the city’s utility planning manager, explained there are significant environmental benefits of eliminating septic systems because the city’s system collects and treats wastewater into economically and environmentally friendly by-products such as fresh water and compost.

“This grant was only available to areas where reserves were in place, and the Rutland and Rialto areas, in particular, have a high percentage of failing septic systems… The sanitary crossing of Mission Creek on KLO Road is critical for upcoming construction of transportation, water and stormwater infrastructure and provides some opportunities to service the Hall Road neighbourhood into the future,” he said.

Kelowna has been focused on eliminating septic systems for more than 25 years and has connected many properties across the city over that time.

Without grants, the process is costly and the burden is almost entirely on existing property owners, said Basran.

This grant applies to public infrastructure with service connections installed to property lines. Customers will be required to install connections from their residences at their own cost.

The project is expected to be built over four years, with construction starting in 2022.

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