The City of Kelowna Wastewater Treatment Facility treats 37 million liters per day (MLD) of wastewater meeting stringent Ministry of Environment standards and discharges to the Okanagan Lake. The facility currently services approximately 90 percent of Kelowna residents.
The Kelowna Wastewater Treatment Facility is located in a densely-populated area of the city surrounded by residential housing, Okanagan College and a high school.
The facility has been in its current location since 1913. Over the years, there have been several facility changes and upgrades. The most critical upgrade came in the 1990s when the facility was changed to a to a Biological Nutrient Removal Process (BNR) facility.
The most recent upgrade to the Kelowna Wastewater Treatment Facility began in 2007, with costs totaling an estimated 50 million dollars once it was completed in 2012. That upgrade increased facility structures and tankage, replaced equipment and components, and upgraded process aeration, odour control and SCADA technologies. In addition, the facility capacity was increased from 40 MLD to 70 MLD which is estimated to service the Kelowna population as it grows to well past 2030.
The 2007 upgrade also included treatment improvements including fine bubble aeration, cloth media filters, influent plate screens, additional biological reactors, secondary clarifiers, primary clarifiers and state of the art odour control system and SCADA system, and focused on energy conservation. Significant time and effort was dedicated to exploring different equipment and configurations which would allow the city to reduce energy consumption. The time and research invested was worthwhile and delivered impressive results. The facility reduced its power consumption equating to enough power saved to service 40 homes in Kelowna area on an annual basis.
As a result, the City received the Conservation Excellence Award from Fortis BC in 2012 for recognition in outstanding leadership in energy efficiency through sustainable choices and innovative projects, including a LEED Silver Operations and Maintenance Building.
The facility is run by highly trained and skilled staff that includes Operators, millwrights, electricians, instrument technicians and laboratory staff. All Operators maintain EOCP Certification in Wastewater Treatment. Operator Certifications range from Level I through to Level IV.
As a result of the energy reductions, the City of Kelowna receives rebates from Fortis BC. These rebates are being used to further the energy reductions. Outside lighting at the facility has been changed to LED, a new energy efficient air compressor will replace older models, and C2 water pumps have been retrofitted to allow more capacity and maintain energy efficiencies. With the changes to the C2 equipment additional pumping volumes will allow pumping of the facility effluent to be used for onsite irrigation and possibly irrigation of the sports fields adjoining the facility.