Treatment plant opens in Okanagan Falls

Pristine new wastewater treatment plant in Okanagan Falls opened this month

The pristine new wastewater treatment plant in Okanagan Falls that opened this month was built to potentially handle sewage generated from far beyond the community itself, as future plans call for it to process effluent from Kaleden, Skaha Estates and Lakeshore Highlands.

It was somewhat ironic, then, to find two portable toilets set up next to the facility during the plant’s grand opening July 3.

Fortunately, capacity wasn’t the issue. Organizers for the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen wanted to ensure there were adequate facilities for the entourage that showed up to celebrate the plant’s official opening.

Okanagan Falls’ new $11.7-million treatment facility is surprisingly quiet, efficient (the sewage is used to heat and cool the operations building) and astonishingly odour-free, due to state-of-the-art technologies employed there.

Touted as a community effort that involved the input of many Okanagan Falls residents, the  grand opening saw many regional district directors show up to view the site — including a number of downstream directors.

Future plans include further enhancement of the discharged waters from the plan through dispersal in the nearby Vaseux wetlands.

The project is on hold while Ducks Unlimited studies the issue of endocrine disruptors — not removed during the treatment process — and their effects on the environment.