City secures funding for West Bench water

March 11, 2009

With hammers banging in the background, Okanagan Coquihalla MP Stockwell Day needed no proof that the Penticton water treatment plant is shovel ready.

“I am pleased to announce a combined contribution between the provincial government and the federal government, of $3.4 million to commit to the very intense water needs of the West Bench Irrigation district and tying that in with Penticton,” said Day at the announcement on Friday afternoon in Penticton.

Day said Canada is obviously being affected by the economic climate but will come out of it. One of the ways the government is by helping that happen is providing stimulus by keeping people working, deal with the infrastructure dollars are moving to communities quickly and effectively.

“We identified projects that we could move money to directly. Projects that are what we call shovel ready,” said Day pointing to the giant shovel bucket trucks and obvious construction ongoing at the water plant.

The $3.4 million will help upgrade the West Bench Irrigation District’s water distribution system, providing cleaner, safer drinking water. The current system is in need of repair due to age and condition.

Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen director for the West Bench area Michael Brydon said the West Bench Irrigation District said it has always been pulling water from the lake then treating it with chlorine and distributing it to the homes.

“This will now be filtered water ... it is a much higher quality of water which has huge implications as we get an aging population there is much less risk of water-borne diseases and much less turbidity,” said Brydon. “The residents needs are straightforward, they want the best possible water at the lowest possible price and this creates that possibility.”

The West Bench Irrigation District will be connected to the City of Penticton’s water supply, providing safe, clean drinking water to the residents of the West Bench.

“The City of Penticton is pleased to work with West Bench residents to ensure a clean and reliable water supply,” said Penticton Mayor Dan Ashton. “With the help of the federal and provincial governments, affordable filtered water is becoming a reality.”

The project is one of 41 across the province that will break ground quickly thanks to a joint federal-provincial investment of $110 million.

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