City of Kelowna staff is currently in Merritt helping to get the water systems running again.
Eight water and wastewater operators from Kelowna are working to share their expertise in Merritt for five days to help get overwhelmed municipal services operating after a devastating flood knocked out the city’s facilities and forced the evacuation of more than 7,000 residents.
Utility Services Manager Kevin Van Vliet said the request for help came last week, and on Saturday the team crossed Highway 97C to assist.
“The team in Merritt has been working 12 hours a day to bring two critical systems back online,” he said.
Merritt’s wastewater system, including their primary treatment facility, was flooded, which brought rocks and silt into the system. It needs to be emptied, cleaned and re-seeded with active biologicals to make the system operate effectively.
The water system in Merritt must also be fully flushed and disinfected, checked for leaks and damage repaired before clean water can run again.
The Central Okanagan Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) has also sent a small team to provide relief to the Merritt EOC, which includes staff from the City of Kelowna, West Kelowna and Regional District of the Central Okanagan.