Fire hydrant on Verano Place

A number of residents on Sage Mesa's Verano Place are concerned that the fire hydrant on their street is not what it appears to be.  That is, the fire hydrant was installed by Sage Mesa Water Co. a few years back in order to take advantage of road work by the provincial Ministry of Transportation.  However, the large-capcity water line to service the fire hydrant is not yet in place (see the letter from the Sage Mesa Water Co. for more information).

The following is my response to inquiries from some very concerned residents:


The risk of extraterritorial water service

The recent conflict between the City of Vernon, Coldstream, and two neighboring electoral areas of the North Okanagan Regional District should be of interest as ratepayers in the West Bench irrigation district consider an extraterritorial service provided by the City of Penticton.  The basic issue in Vernon is that the shared utility, Greater Vernon Water, is responsible for both supply and distribution of treated water to all four political entities.  However, the whole arrangement is on the verge of unraveling due to differences in opinion regarding distribution in the rural and non-rural areas.  Central supply seems to be okay with everyone.  See the news stories here and here.


[Vernon] City clarifies position over water utility withdrawal

Some politicians are being accused of not understanding the process that could split Greater Vernon’s water utility.

The City of Vernon insists it only wants to withdraw from distribution but issues surrounding water supply must be discussed by all partners in the function.

“It’s always been recognized that we need to determine what part of the system is supply and how it will be governed,” said Mayor Wayne Lippert.

Lippert added that the need to discuss water supply has always been part of correspondence between the city and the North Okanagan Regional District.

The relationship between water upgrades and sewer for the West Bench

I received the following question via email:

In regards to the West Bench water issue currently before us, a valid question has come up that I believe may be of importance. Will the purchase of water from the city of Penticton ultimately lead to sewer hook-up, thereby creating the opportunity for subdivision in the West Bench? Some residents believe that this is a possibility and it would be good to clarify this important question. As always, thank you for your quick response.

My response:

Short answer: I believe the issues are economically and politically independent and that one does not necessarily entail the other.  It would be different if new water treatment involved digging up West Bench drive.  But as far as I know it does not.


Faulder taxpayers get another break

By Jeff Lawrence - Penticton Western News March 19, 2009

Government money keeps on pouring into the South Okanagan for new infrastructure projects, and the small community of Faulder is once again benefitting from the cash.

B.C.'s Towns For Tomorrow program will send $653,000 to the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen for projects including the Faulder Water Well project.

"Because of this generous donation, the cost of this project will decrease for Faulder residents," said Penticton mayor and Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen chair Dan Ashton.

The small community west of Summerland received good news two weeks ago, when it was announced it would receive $610,000 in funding from the provincial and federal governments to build a new water treatment facility. Faulder's water was receiving attention due to trace elements of uranium found that were in excess of government standards.



The Faulder Community water system was constructed in 1993 by the RDOS to service approximately 80 households.  The system consists of a well, pump, balancing reservior, and distribution system. It draws water from the Meadow Valley aquifer, as do several other private wells in the area.