Ground has been broken, though work is well underway.
On Wednesday, Dec. 17, a ceremonial ground-breaking was held at the Dabell Street site of Sicamous’ future water treatment plant. Participating in the event were Okanagan-Shuswap MP Colin Mayes, Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo and Sicamous Mayor Terry Rysz – representing the three funding partners behind the $7.9 million project.
Each of the government representatives took the opportunity to speak to the project, reflecting on its importance as well as the importance of the partnership that’s making the project happen.
“This has been a long time coming for the residents of Sicamous and we are excited to finally be moving forward with this project. With the help of the federal and provincial governments and residents of Sicamous, we are now able to anticipate the completion of the water treatment plant in the fall of 2015,” states Rysz in a related Dec. 17 news release.
The same release states work has paused for the winter and will resume in the spring. However, in speaking with the News after the event, Rysz noted work on the project has, in fact, been long underway.
“They’re already fully into this project now and so far, it’s going on time and it’s on budget and it’s coming along quite well,” said Rysz.
Upgrading of Sicamous’ water treatment ability was necessitated by the 2012 debris flows at Sicamous and Hummingbird creeks, and the subsequent flooding from Shuswap and Mara lakes. The new facility will include a state-of-the-art three-filter membrane filtration system, complete with backup electrical generation, a second-stage recovery system and solids accumulation pond for the collection of waste byproduct.
“Once complete, the upgraded facility will help protect the quality of the region’s water supply and alleviate pressure caused by two significant floods, thus assuring continued access to safe, clean drinking water for residents,” states the release.
Rysz says the project is expected to be complete and operational in 2015 by early fall.
“I think this community is going to be very excited once it’s done,” said Rysz.