Delta schools have lead levels back under control after re-piping that took place over the summer. (Grace Kennedy photo)

Kelowna families connected to clean drinking water

Crawford Road residents turned their taps on to clean drinking water this week

Nearly a dozen Southeast Kelowna residents in the Crawford Road area turned on their taps to clean drinking water this week. They’re part of the first group to receive clean drinking water from the city utility as part of the on-going Kelowna Integrated Water project.

The Del Medico family was the first to have their water changed over. City utility crews connected their property earlier this month, and the family is thrilled.

“The whole process has been awesome; we couldn’t be happier. We can finally drink the water straight from the tap,” said John Del Medico. “We waited a long time and now the water is perfect, ready to go.”

Although these initial homes were connected mid-way through the project, it will take some time before other Southeast Kelowna residents are also connected to the new city water system.

“It’s a great feeling to see residents have access to clean water,” said Patrick Aylard, project manager. “Although we could connect these first few homes because they were so close to existing City utilities, connecting other houses to the new system will take a bit longer.”

RELATED: Kal/Wood Lake study cites need to protect drinking water

It’s anticipated that other Southeast Kelowna residents will be connected to City water in 2020, when construction of new water mains and facilities is complete.

“It’s well worth the wait. It’s funny, you always think we should have clean water, but we didn’t, and now we do,” Del Medico said.

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Substantial paving work has been completed on some of the major project roads where new water mains have been installed. Work is now underway to build a new water reservoir and pump station at 4075 Jean Road, as well as complete upgrades to the Stellar and Lower Crawford pump stations.

Construction of the Jean Road and Stellar Road facilities is expected to be complete by the end of 2019.

Phase one of the Kelowna Integrated Water Project, an $86 million project funded by a $43.9 million provincial and federal grant, will bring clean drinking water to more than 2,000 Southeast Kelowna households and a sustainable water supply for agriculture in the South Mission. Expected to be complete in 2020, this is the first phase of the Kelowna Integrated Water Supply Plan.

For more information and to sign up for project updates, visit kelowna.ca/water

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