Penticton sewer plant plant in need of repairs

Full upgrade expected to cost $1.9-million that will come from the utility's reserves

Problems with aging equipment at Penticton’s wastewater treatment plant have forced the city to move up parts of a five-year replacement plan.

City engineer Ian Chapman said problems with a fermenter and a blower in the bioreactor have forced the sewer utility to rethink its 2013 capital budget, which included a limited amount of funds for a short-term repair, allowing the fermenter to stay in operation for four to six more years.

But when the utility put the repair job out to tender, city staff discovered the fix would cost more than double what they had planned for. Rather than pay out a high price for a short-term fix, Chapman said they decided to move up a planned full rebuild of the unit from 2019 to 2014.

“It will either be a new structure altogether or a refurbishment of an existing tank,” said Chapman. The cost of the full upgrade is estimated to be $1,925,000, which will be drawn from the sewer utility’s accumulated reserves. For 2013, Chapman asked council to reallocate $200,000 for the pre-design and detailed design for the fermenter.

“The sewer utility fund is certainly one of our healthier utility funds,” said chief financial officer Doug Leahy. According to Chapman’s report, the 2012 accumulated surplus is $7,396,000, which is to be utilized for future upgrades to the wastewater treatment plant.

“The equipment we are looking at replacing now was not part of the recent upgrade. It was left over and we knew we would have to get to it and the time is now,” said Chapman.

The recent upgrade addressed about 75 per cent of all the plant’s infrastructure but funds weren’t available to do all the big ticket items at the time, though they knew that elements like the fermenter and clarifier would be coming up in the next several years.

“It just happens that the state of the fermenter is such that we just can’t wait. Based on the tender we received earlier, there isn’t a quick temporary fix,” said Chapman. “We need to spend the money now.”

In addition to problems with the fermenter, the bearings failed on one of the blowers in the bioreactor earlier this year. But while studying the costs to repair it, Chapman said they also took a look at the efficiency of the existing units.

“We discovered that the existing blowers, even in repaired state, are relatively inefficient, in fact they are very inefficient,” said Chapman. “We could purchase a new blower and based on the projected energy savings, we would have a payback of five years.”

A new blower will cost $170,000, adding up a total of $370,000 in changes to the sewer utility’s 2013 budget. Summing up council’s position on the changes Coun. John Vassilaki said that not only was it reasonable, but the city had little choice.

“It has to be done before we have sewage coming up our bathtubs,” said Vassilaki.

 

Just Posted

(Pixabay photo)
Morning Start: Goosebumps helped scare off predators

Your morning start for Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Sue Birds captured this sunset photo that took place in between the rain and thunder Monday night, June 15, 2021. (Sue Birds)
Stormy sunsets over Okanagan Valley

Monday night had thunder, rain and stunning sunsets

Owner Daren McWhinney is really excited about the new location of Angry Vegan which just opened up at 536 Main Street. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton’s Main Street turns into foodie heaven

Angry Vegan, Wild Ginger, Twisted Chopsticks and Gratify recently opened

Penticton Overdose Prevention Society co-founders Desiree Franz, Shane Surowski and Stephanie Lines have created the city’s first unsanctioned public overdose prevention site using an old wine-tour bus. The site began operations in June 2021. (Desiree Franz/Facebook)
Volunteers launch Penticton’s first public supervised injection site

2021 is on pace to be the deadliest year for overdoses in Penticton on record

Four golfers from Fairview Mountain Golf Club in Oliver will golf from sunrise to sunset to raise funds for ALS on June 29. (Submitted)
Golfing from sunrise to sunset in Oliver for ALS

Four golfers from Fairview Mountain Golf Club have taken up the challenge June 29

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Port Alberni court house (Alberni Valley News)
Coroners’ inquest into 2016 death of Port Alberni teen rescheduled for June 21

18-year-old Jocelyn George died of heart failure after spending time in jail cell

Children’s shoes and flowers are shown after being placed outside the Ontario legislature in Toronto on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ontario commits $10 million to investigate burial sites at residential schools

Truth and Reconciliation Commission identified 12 locations of unmarked burial sites in Ontario

Two hundred and fifteen lights are placed on the lawn outside the Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., Saturday, June, 13, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Days after Kamloops remains discovery, Tk’emlups families gather to unite, move ahead

‘We have to work together because this is going to be setting a precedent for the rest of the country’

In this Saturday, May 29, 2021, file photo, people crowd the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, Calif. California, the first state in America to put in place a coronavirus lockdown, is now turning a page on the pandemic. Most of California’s coronavirus restrictions will disappear Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
With COVID tamed, it’s a ‘grand reopening’ in California

No more state rules on social distancing, no more limits on capacity, no more mandatory masks

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

(Dave Ogilvie photo)
One injured after being pinned by fallen forklift near Peachland

West Kelowna emergency crews responded to reports of a person stuck under a forklift

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

B.C. ambulance station in Revelstoke is expected to get a new system called the Scheduled On-Call (SOC) this fall. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
B.C. ambulance changes could put Revelstoke residents at risk, warn local paramedics

Paramedics said to expect a substantial increase in ambulance response time starting this fall

Most Read