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 including all property owners in the west bench service area. Water meters are a tool in water conservation efforts, with the primary role of detecting and locating water leaks. A secondary role is to aid in planning for demand requirements. It has been found that as much as 65% of the annual demand is a result of irrigation and agricultural purposes.
RDOS staff have made use of the water meter readings that were installed since 2015 in identifying continuous leaks within multiple properties and provide that information for homeowners to repair their systems. Additional benefits include identifying supply system areas of concern requiring replacement or repair resulting in identification that approximately one quarter (25%) of the previous demand was being wasted to leaks.
In 2016, RDOS hired a consultant who reviewed the water meter data and developed some preliminary rate options. These options were presented to the West Bench residents for their feedback through mail out literature and an Open House format in 2016. A rate structure of base + metered usage was chosen and implemented beginning in 2017.
The RDOS would like to thank the residents of West Bench for their support throughout this project.