The RDOS has worked with Native Plant Solutions to create a wetland next to the local wastewater treatment plant as an additional natural purification step. (Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen)

New wetland to help further purify water from Okanagan Falls treatment plant

The wetland has already cut down the amount of nitrogen and phosphorous entering the river

A natural way of further cleaning the water from the Okanagan Falls Wastewater Treatment Plant is now operational.

A 1.9-hectare area of wetland next to the plant, located on the floodplain land near the Okanagan River, will polish the treated effluent from the plant.

This will further reduce any environmental risks beyond tertiary treatment potential, providing a one-third reduction of nitrogen and phosphorus loading into the Okanagan River.

“By harnessing natural vegetation, soil and local organisms, this innovative project helps protect the Okanagan River so it can be enjoyed by British Columbians for decades to come,” said Nathan Cullen, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “It’s projects like this that make British Columbia a leader in environmental stewardship.”

The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen operates the wastewater treatment plan and worked with Native Plant Solutions to pioneer this project, which is among the first of its kind in B.C.

“Wetlands are living ecosystems that provide naturally enhanced wastewater treatment,” according to Native Plant Solutions.

Native Plant Solutions specializes in upland, wetland, aquatic, and environmental sciences.

Funding for the project was provided in part by the Canada Community Building Fund which is administered in British Columbia by the Union of BC Municipalities.

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