West Bench Water System
Engineering Projects and Reports

Construction Update for June 2016 West Bench Reservoir Capacity Expansion

The Regional District, in conjunction with Cumming Construction, has completed the West Bench Reservoir Capacity Expansion Project. Construction of the additional 550m3 reservoir, near the existing reservoir on the same property, took place over the 2015/2016 winter season. The new reservoir is working in combination with the existing reservoir and has increased the available fire flow for the West Bench area.

The property has been seeded with a native species seed mix. The backside of the reservoir will be planted intermittently with native shrubs this fall.  

The Regional District is pleased to include the new reservoir within the West Bench Water System.

Engineering Projects and Updates:

The water upgrades project began many years ago by the West Bench Irrigation District (WBID) with the initiation of a major pipe replacement project in the mid 1990's due to an increase of pipe failures over a 12 month span.  WBID resolved to complete an engineering study that prioritized a systematic replacement of all water mains.  The water system consisted of mostly steel pipe built in the 1950's and was at the end of its useful life and would continue to fail. The WBID then began the systematic replacement of the watermains and over 60% of the watermains in the system had been upgraded by 2010.

Water quality monitoring requirements were also rapidly increasing in the 1990’s as well as growing water conservation concerns in the Okanagan valley. These requirements led the WBID Board to apply for senior government support through the Regional District to not only replace the failing pipes, but also to provide for the treatment and metering of water.

The final stages of the water upgrade project began in 2012 with the replacement of about 2.5 km of watermain. The second part of the project involved construction of a connection to the City of Penticton’s water distribution system with whom a bulk water purchase agreement was reached for the community. The new supply main was constructed beginning at Riverside Drive, taken under the Okanagan River channel by directional drilling, and installed up West Bench Hill Road to the new booster station.

In early April of 2014 the new watermain and booster station were commissioned. After many years with a permanent boil water notice in place for the West Bench community, on May 9, 2014 the notice was officially rescinded.

June 23, 2014 Information Release - West Bench Water Supply Upgrade Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

March 2014 West Bench Water Update

West Bench Water Meters

The RDOS has completed the installation of 352 water meters to the property owners of West Bench. Water meters are devices used to measure the volume of water usage at a property and do become a valuable tool in assisting the Regional District with their water conservation efforts and improving water infrastructure life span.

RDOS staff has been taking monthly water meter readings since 2015. Not only is important water volume data collected during these readings, staff can identify ‘continuous leaks’ within the property and relay that information to the homeowner for repair. Status letters will be sent to the homeowners where a leak on a property has been identified. Over 2015 and 2016, the residential water data that has been collected will be used to help determine standard water usage and aid in implementing a fair water rate based on consumption.

In 2016, RDOS have hired a consultant who will be reviewing the water meter data and develop preliminary rate options. These options will be presented to the West Bench residents for their feedback through mail out literature and an Open House format in 2016. It is anticipated that a rate structure that includes a volume based component will be implemented to West Bench residents in January of 2017.

The RDOS would like to thank the residents of West Bench for their support throughout this project.