Westbank Irrigation District building world-class DAF water treatment plant

Posted December 2005

The Westbank Irrigation District (WID) Board of Trustees is pleased to announce construction of its Powers Creek Water Treatment Plant. It is expected that the total cost to complete the water treatment plant and treated water reservoir will be about  $18 million. WID presently has reserves of about $8.5 million, which will be utilized to offset these construction costs. Earlier this year, ratepayers approved WID borrowing of up to $13 million. 

WID is committed to a water conservation program that includes year-round sprinkling regulations for all residential and commercial customers. As part of this program, WID reduced the design capacity of the water treatment plant based on the introduction of water metering for all residential, commercial, and industrial customers. Installation of these water meters is planned to take place during 2006 and 2007. The cost of this metering program is estimated to be $2 million, and should reduce overall water demand by about 20 to 25 percent during the first three or four years of implementation. WID estimates that long-term borrowing of about $12 million will be necessary to finance both the water treatment plant and the water-metering program. 

Construction of the treatment plant and treated water reservoir has commenced, and is expected to be completed by the end of next year. The plant will be commissioned and fully operational by early 2007. 
The Powers Creek Water Treatment Plant will use dissolved air flotation (DAF) and filtration to improve WID drinking water safety and quality. In addition to removing both dissolved colour and suspended particulates, the process will also reduce the amount of chlorine needed for disinfection, thereby reducing the formation of disinfection by-products such as trihalomethanes (THMs). This water treatment process designed by Earth Tech Canada Inc. has been used successfully all over the world, but WID’s DAF plant will be the first of its kind in Canada, and the largest in North America. Its design will provide water year-round that meets, or exceeds all federal, provincial, and Interior Health standards for safety and aesthetics.

The treatment plant is designed to process 54 ML (54,000 cubic metres) of water per day. With the introduction of water meters and the ultimate separation of water used for agricultural purposes, the plant will have sufficient capacity to meet WID’s needs for about 20 years, even with the expected population growth. An 8 ML (8,000 cubic metre) treated water reservoir will permit the plant to operate efficiently, provide additional system capacity, and increase water storage for emergency purposes.

This announcement follows more than three years of work by WID to: identify effective, efficient, and economical water supply and treatment options; pilot test the selected DAF and filtration process; and undertake pre-design and detailed engineering of the proposed water treatment facility. During the past eight years, WID has operated in a very cost-efficient manner and has saved more than $2.7 million from ratepayer’s tolls.

For more information contact WID manager Brian Jamieson at 250-768-5154 or wid.brian@telus.net.


The Westbank Irrigation District is the second largest improvement district in B.C., with 4,816 connections serving about 13,000 people. The 4,467 residential connections represent 93 percent of the total connections and account for about 70 percent of the total water delivered. The remaining connections are for commercial (168), industrial (36), and agricultural (145) uses.