Part of the Peachland water treatment plant during construction. (District of Peachland/Facebook)

Part of the Peachland water treatment plant during construction. (District of Peachland/Facebook)

Costs go up for Peachland water treatment plant project

Staff asked for more funding to get the project to the finish line

Peachland’s water treatment plant project may almost be done, but it needs a bit more money to get it to the finish line.

The district’s director of operations, Shawn Grundy, said during an Aug. 10 council meeting there are some overages for the water treatment plant and the Trepanier Interconnect projects, asking council to approve the transfer of $900,000 from the water improvement plant to the capital budgets fund to finish off the two projects.

The district’s water treatment plant started providing service earlier in the year, which meant less boil water advisories for the majority of Peachland,” Grundy said.

“The Interconnect project does continue as noted and anticipated to be substantially complete in late September.”

“Once complete, all the serviced areas of the district will be supplied with filtered water from Peachland Creek.”

But as both projects draw to a close, he added that the department has identified the need for extra funding.

“But one of the most important things to know is that both of these projects were entered into lean. Projects of this scope typically have anywhere from 10 to 12 per cent in contingency. The water treatment plant started with four per cent and the Interconnect with seven, so we were low on both,” he said.

Grundy also reassured council that the additional funds won’t affect water rates for district customers.

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Jeremy Clowes with Urban Systems, the contractor the district is working with for the projects. He outlined part of the reason the costs are going up was because of several challenges with electrical service to the plant, natural gas service and equipment.

Now with a proposed backwash recycling treatment to add to the plant, there is more to think about.

Since starting operation three months ago, Clowes said they found other areas in the plant where operation could be improved, hence the request for additional funding.

Regarding the Trepanier Interconnect, the line that will service the rest of the district, the project is nearly finished, with the pipeline now being pressure-tested. Clowes acknowledged completing the Interconnect has taken much longer than anticipated.

“The project was originally to be completed at the end of April and had included a three-month winter break,” he said.

“(The line) is expected to reach substantial performance in late September.”

This means an additional eight months of construction time on the project, adding up costs. Part of the overage stems from COVID-19-induced delays with valve parts.

Grundy said the new amount they’re asking for already has contingencies built into it.

“We’re hoping to ask more than what we need so that we don’t have to come back to you again because we’ve (already) come back a few times,” he said.

“If we had a higher contingency level (for the projects), yes, we would’ve been within budget.”

Council approved the extra funding.

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