Sewer study to shape improvements over next two decades
After a brief period that allowed for public comments and input, Town of Osoyoos council has officially adopted the new sewer capacity study that will allow for the expansion of the town’s sewer system over the next 20 years.
The study was completed by Kerr Wood Leidal Associates Ltd. after council decided last year that a comprehensive review and study of the town’s sewer capacity was necessary to allow for future development and expansion within town limits.
The study was picked up by several interested parties, but no comments were provided to administration over the past month, said Barry Romanko, the town’s chief administrative officer.
The third party assessment of the town’s sewer capacity system can be used by council and staff to assess the municipality’s actions to ensure the integrity of the sewer service capital infrastructure, said Romanko.
Council officially passed a resolution Monday to accept the report as information and used it in the five-year capital and business planning process.
“This report is a very positive assessment of the administration, True Consulting and council working together to ensure appropriately planned sewer services that positions the community to supply current needs and future growth,” said Romanko.
Some of the key findings in the report include:
- The need for main lift station improvements to be identified and financially addressed in the five-year capital plan.
- The need for additional reclaimed effluent lands and infrastructure has been identified and work is already underway to build additional facilities within the five-year capital plan.
- The building of an infiltration bed at Desert Park was noted in the report as an important facility to deal with emergency reclaimed water winter storage issues.
- Work is being done to address major concerns over winter storage reclaimed water, including the security of extra lands being sought through working with the provincial government and additional sites being sought out by the town.
- Additional improvements to the sewer system are included in the five-year capital plan with assigned funding.
- Current work is being completed on a new development charges bylaw that will address the future funding of needed facilities and who will pay.
Close to $3 million in funding has been set aside by council towards improving the town’s sewer capacity system in the current five-year capital plan. Some of those projects have already been completed and several more will proceed in the next three or four years.
Mayor Stu Wells said the new sewer capacity study will provide information and direction for town councillors, senior administration and local citizens for years to come.
“The report was very good and identifies having additional land secured for future growth,” said Wells. “We’re looking towards at least a window so that we can handle growth in our town over a 20-year period.”
The report also identifies areas in town where sewer capacity problems should be tackled sooner than later and council will start working on resolutions to those problems in the near future, said Wells.
Coun. C. J. Rhodes said the sewer capacity study is crucial because “it’s a working document” council and staff will refer to continuously moving forward and wont’ be gathering dust on a shelf.
Copies of the sewer capacity study are available at town hall.