Willowbrook Water System
Engineering Projects and Reports
In 2016 the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen assumed ownership and took over operations of the Willowbrook Water System. Numerous deficiencies have been identified in the system's infrastructure and a master plan has been prepared to achieve the current standards for drinking water.
The Willowbrook Water System has been on a Boil Water Notice (BWN) since February 10, 2017 when a loss of positive system pressure occurred due to a power outage. Total coliform and background bacteria counts were being found sporadically in samples throughout the distribution system at that time.
Shortly after this BWN was issued, an assessment completed by the Interior Health Authority deemed that the water system source well and ground water were 'Ground Water at Risk of containing Pathogens' (GARP). Due to this classification, disinfection measures must be implemented in order to satisfy the requirements of the Drinking Water Protection Regulation.
Water System Upgrades - 2017/2018
In 2018, numerous upgrades were completed in the Willowbrook Water System. Specifically, communication with the pumphouse and reservoir was installed so the operators can remotely monitor and respond to the system. This $44,000 project was paid for by a grant recieved under the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund (CWWF) (83%) and the Willowbrook water users (17%).
Other upgrades completed included the installation of a transfer switch for a back up generator, re-siding of the pumphouse building to stop access to the rodents, updated electrical components and installation of a chlorine dosing unit. These costs were 100% paid from the Regionally Significant Gas Tax Program (about $365,000) that became available to share between several small upgrades in the Willowbrook and Sun Valley Water Systems and the Okanagan Falls sewer liftstations.
Water System Upgrades - 2019 and Future Years
Future projects identified in the master plan will include the installation of a chlorine contact system, improving well head protection measures, expanding/installing a large reservoir, and the looping of dead end water mains.
The Regional District's current priority is focused on providing sufficient treatment that will allow the Boil Water Notice to be lifted for the system. A chlorine dosing system was added in 2018, however to be effective in disinfection, a chlorine contact system is required to extend the contact time of the chlorine before the treated water would reach the first service connection. With the installation of a chlorine contact time system, the water system will be able to protect against viruses (4-log removal) and bacteria (E. coli, fecal coliforms, and total coliforms).
Funding for the chlorine contact system installation is being provided through an allocation RDOS Electoral Area "C" - Community Works Gas Tax Funds from the Area Director. In August 2019, Associated Engineering started on the design for the Chlorine contact time system with construction planned for early 2020.
Another component being undertaken for the Willowbrook Water System is a hydrological assessment to determine if the GARP status can be downgraded to a GARP (viruses only) status. Once the well is given a GARP (viruses only) designation and the chlorine contact time system is installed, it is anticipated that the Boil Water Notice will be lifted.
Larratt Aquatic began the hydrological assessment in October 2019 and sampling will occur over the next year. A report detailing a proper classification for the will is expected in a proper classification for the well is expected in late 2020.