metal pipe with valve is leaking in water treatment plant

Water main break in Peachland, days after upgrades approved to treatment plant

Water pipe burst on Princeton Avenue drawing preliminary boil water notice

  • Dec. 20, 2021 11:30 a.m.

The District of Peachland’s recent water woes continued Sunday night with the discovery of a water main break on Princeton Avenue.

Peachland residents will be on a precautionary boil water notice until all water testing has been competed after the repair is complete.

Interior Health recommends that all customers drink boiled water or a safe alternative until further notice.

Water intended for drinking, washing fruits or vegetables, making juice or ice, or brushing teeth should be boiled for one minute.

Peachland Mayor Cindy Fortin said the infrastructure breakdown is the result of a connection between two water main pipes breaking down.

“It is a question of infrastructure aging to the point where these things happen,” said Fortin.

The water main break comes on the heels of Peachland council last week signing off on a $2.5 million upgrade to the water treatment plant opened this past spring.

Fortin did not call the plant upgrade a flaw, but rather a system backwash system used by other communities for their water treatment facilities which hasn’t proved workable for Peachland.

The system removes dirt and contaminants from filter beds by passing a mixture of water and air over them.

According to a district staff report, this fluidizes the beds and allows the waste and carrying water to be stored within a tank for future treatment.

“When the plant was first designed, the intention was for the backwash water to be pumped back to the start of the process and slowly recycled. It was designed in this manner as per engineering best practices and also as a cost saving measure,” stated the staff report.

Fortin said it has turned out, the backwash system has absorbed a significant amount of staff resource time to manage which has proven unworkable.

The mayor said the $2.5 million cost will be accounted for by the district’s water system improvement reserve fund, which currently has $5.3 million in reserve and is funded on an annual basis.

Fortin said the two issues wrap up what has been a difficult year for the district on water issues, leaving her hoping for fewer troubles ahead in 2022.

“It’s been a tough year in a lot of different ways with more stuff than we can handle, ” said Fortin, reflecting on water management and wildfire concerns facing Peachland over the past 12 months.

“I look forward to a fresh start in 2022 but I guess I was saying the same thing about the start of 2021.”

For more information contact the District of Peachland at 250-767-2108.

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