How often is it that we turn on our taps to wash a dish, rig the sprinkler for a 6 a.m. watering or hop in the shower before starting our day, without ever stopping to think where the water comes from?
Naturally, being a resident in the Okanagan, it should be standard practice to think about water scarcity as you would eating, seeing as some municipalities are faced with shortages in potable water.
And on Monday, Lake Country officially recognized the additions to the Eldorado Treated Water Reservoir Glenmore Booster Station Project.
The Eldorado Treated Water Reservoir’s newest features include a treated reservoir—an area to store treated, potable drinking and irrigation water—and a low-lift facility to pump the water from the open reservoir to the closed and treated reservoir for storing.
“Some of the (improvements are) fire protection storage, water quality, and provides a key piece of infrastructure for when we build a water treatment facility at the site,” said engineering technician for infrastructure services and project lead Kiel Wilkie.
MP Stephen Fuhr joined the ceremony on Monday, saying accessible water and proper infrastructure is “absolutely essential.”
The reservoir serves as a hybrid, acting as a facilitator for potable water and hydro electricity—the same water you drink, is the same water that charges your phone at night.
Once the water cycles from Beaver Lake, to the creek, through the pipe and into the system, it helps generate the approximate 300 megawatts of power per year Lake Country sells to BC Hydro, which is enough to power approximately 380 homes.
After the water finishes its hydro duties, it is released into the open reservoir before funneling into the new addition to the reservoir.
Chlorine gas is pumped through the water to inactivate any of the microbes that could infect the water and potentially make someone sick. Once disinfected, it is stored.
At full capacity without refilling, the new treated water reservoir could last as potable water for seven to 10 days in the winter time, or one and a half hours in the summer time.
A testament to the irrigation demands in Lake Country, according to one of the facility technicians.
“We are looking to protect the health in our community, and we certainly have a crew that is very diligent in making sure that the water that gets in our pipes that people are drinking and putting on our crops is potable,” said Mayor James Baker.
The Glenmore Booster Station interconnects Okanagan and Beaver Lake sources to allow for a backup system if there are any problems with either.
The design for the project started in 2016 and in 2017 the federal government provided 50 per cent of the capital necessary, while the province covered 33 per cent and the Lake Country had to provide 17 per cent, according to Fuhr.