Saturday, November 26, 2016

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Comments on RDNO’s grant application.

During the 2014 election campaign a high pressure referendum campaign attempted to convince Greater Vernon’s water customers to approve the borrowing of $70 million for the completion of the Master Water Plan. The plan included, among other items, a filtration plant at the Duteau Creek Water Treatment Plant for $26.5 million.

Consultants and staff insisted that the selected Option #2 was the most cost effective solution to GVW’s water problems. There were public presentations and media advertisements urging the ratepayers to approve the borrowing.

Some politicians opposed the proposed MWP. They demanded an independent review of the proposed plan but the majority rejected the request. They accepted the words of the “experts” that there is no need for a review. There could be no improvements to the perfect plan. So, the referendum proceeded. It failed decisively. 

At the November 3, 2016 GVAC meeting the following resolution was approved:
“The Greater Vernon Advisory Committee will submit a $5.6 million grant application to the federal government for ultraviolet treatment at the Duteau Creek plant.” (Morning Star, November 6, 2016).
Apparently, there were ways to improve the plan. The above news clip reflects one of the benefits of the failed referendum. Could an independent review uncover additional improvements? The current plan must be reviewed and compared to Option #7 using this new evidence.

Applying for a grant before the plan is completed is like repeating the mistake we made in 2004 (or 2006?).

The $30 M DCWTP was built with the help of a $13 M grant from Senior Governments. The vision of a grant was too much temptation to resist and GVW decided to build a $30 million 162 ML/d  treatment plant without first completing the entire plan. We are still working on it.

Based on the 2012 MWP proposal we will only need 110 ML of water from the DCWTP for the filtration plant. That makes 47% of the DCWTP production capacity redundant. If we divert even more untreated water to farms it will render redundant even more of the DCWTP.

Had the referendum succeeded, by now we would be building a new $26.5 million filtration plant at Duteau Creek using a maximum of 110 ML/d of pre-treated water. Instead, staff is proposing a new option for $7 million instead of the filtration plant. That would already be a saving of $25 million over the original proposal. Could an independent review uncover some additional savings? Quite likely.
Why did this proposal not surface earlier? Why did it take four years and a failed referendum to discover this possible alternative? After all, Kelowna has been using UV treatment since 2005. Our own Mission Hill Treatment Plant is using UV treatment since 2006. It is already in our system. Currently, GVW is working on improving the intake system at Kal Lake and it is expected that the Kal Lake water turbidity would be further reduced. More reason why filtration could be deferred even longer.

So, now that this treatment appears to be an acceptable alternative, why not reassess the MWP options in light of this new revelation?

If the use of ultraviolet treatment instead of filtration at Duteau is acceptable by IHA we can expand its use at Mission Hill and close DC. We are already serving 80% of our customers from MH. Instead of building a $50 M filtration plant at MH we can negotiate a filtration deferment and spend our money on extending the MH distribution system to customers currently using Duteau water. We won’t have to spend the $7 M either as we already have the UV facility at Mission Hill. That’s $57 million savings. 
Also, we must critically review the cost estimates of the total separation. We are relying entirely on the estimates provided by our current consultants. Their first estimates of separation costs were only a fraction of the current one.

We could return to using the original VID irrigation system only for agricultural crops. It was very efficient for irrigation prior to 2006. It just could not provide domestic water. If you wish to have an idea of what the VID and later NOWA’s  “domestic” water quality was from 1970 to 2006 check out the video:


The video demonstrates the tremendous amount of work, money and processing associated with producing the same quality water that is produced by Kalamalka and Okanagan lakes for free. Furthermore, there are no nasty byproducts, referred to as “cake”.

There are other reasons to review the plan. The original plan was based on a number of faulty assumptions (statistically referred to as Type II errors) which I’ll discuss later.

An independent review is a must!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Selected Morning Star Newsclips - In case you missed them.



Selected Morning Star Newsclips - In case you missed them.

Mr Bodkin makes an excellent point of the untenable water rate issue. He is right, the rate structure is extremely unfair.

The current policy of the Board is supposed to recover half the costs from infrastructure fees (base fees) and half from user fees.

Based on this policy half of your bill should be the cost of the water you used with a matching cost for infrastructure. Unfortunately, this only happens when your quarterly consumption is about 83 cubic meters (base fee: $102.00, user fee: $101.91). 

Here are a couple of examples of bills at various consumption (base fee includes meter fee of $7.00):

    15 cu. m. per quarter: Base fee: $102.00, user fee: $    11.85, ratio:  90% - 10%.
    50 cu. m. per quarter: Base fee: $102.00, user fee: $    47.40, ratio:  68% - 32%.  
 150 cu. m. per quarter:  Base fee: $102.00, user fee: $  260.70, ratio:  28% - 72%.            
 900 cu. m. per quarter:  Base fee: $102.00, user fee: $2038.20, ratio:   5% - 95%   

Does anyone believe that these figures comply with the 50-50 policy established by the Board?  Is it fair that the less water you use the more of your money goes to infrastructure costs? The policy is that half of your fee should go to infrastructure costs and the other half pay for the operation and maintenance of the system.

Another problem is that Industrial, Commercial and Institutional customers pay a lower rate than domestic customers. All customers should be paying the same rate


Monday, November 14, 2016

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Friday, November 11, 2016

Jonathan Pie, UK News reporter, Blames The Left For Trump, Tories And Brexit

Excuse the language, he seems a bit upset!


EDITORIAL: Ultimate sacrifice deserves tribute

North Okanagan posted Nov 11, 2016 at 7:00 AM

Throughout the North Okanagan, ceremonies will be held today to pay tribute to those who fought on behalf of Canada in two world wars and other conflicts.

In many cases, those soldiers, sailors and pilots never returned to their parents, spouses or children. Their dreams and potential were lost to the entire nation.

Others came back, but mental and physical injuries created significant challenges for them, as did reintegrating into daily home life after being away for so many years.

Unfortunately, war is still a reality in our world and Canadian soldiers have done their duty in Afghanistan in recent years. That means, that those same issues and challenges faced by our veterans in the Second World War and Korea have been repeated by their modern-day counterparts.

As you go about your daily lives — whether it’s hanging out with your kids, going to work or simply reading this newspaper — consider how your world would be different if those sacrifices hadn’t been made on our behalf.

Value the freedom we have all been given.

One way to do that is to attend a Remembrance Day ceremony today. Gatherings are scheduled for Enderby, Armstrong, Vernon, Coldstream, Lavington, Lumby, Cherryville and Lake Country.

And if you are unable to do that, at least pause at 11 a.m. to consider those who served and those who continue to serve.

Lest we forget.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Notices from Greater Water.

Protecting Kal water


Work begins in Kalamalka Lake next week to lessen turbidity and protect the water source from invasive mussels.

Greater Vernon Water has issued a notice to customers on the Mission Hill Water Treatment Plant/Kalamalka Lake water source that it will be shut down on Nov. 16 to accommodate the extension of the water intake.

An additional 75 metres of pipe is expected to be added to the line into the lake, extending the piping to 325 metres.

It is hoped the extension will lessen turbidity when the water is pumped into residences.

As well, some of the $385,000 being spent on the project will be used to add a chlorine line to get ready for quagga and zebra mussels which can clog up pipes. Such a line can significantly reduce the growth of mussels, according to a water official.

The planned project will take approximately two weeks to complete.

For the duration, all Greater Vernon Water customers will be switched to the Duteau Water Treatment Plant.

Customers who are not normally on Duteau water will notice that the water is much softer and has a low alkalinity and pH. Staff are advising people with in-home water treatment systems or aquariums to take note.


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The biggest losers!

Probably the biggest loser in yesterday's US elections was the reputation of the pollsters. Following a trend recently established in Canadian elections, failing in the Brexit predictions, the presidential election predictions were far off reality.

Could it be that people are getting fed up with constant polling and are responding by providing false responses? Should we start a poll on it? lol


Thursday, November 3, 2016

Coldstream Ratepayers News! All Coldstream residents are ratepayers!

The opinions expressed by "Coldstreamer" are strictly his own and do not represent the opinions of Coldstream Council!

Because I value your thoughtful opinions, I encourage you to add a comment to this discussion. Don't be offended if I edit your comments for clarity or to keep out questionable matters, however, and I may even delete off-topic comments.

Gyula Kiss;


We must protect our rights and freedom! (Photo courtesy of D. Gibson) Click on eagle to watch EAGLECAMS

About Me

My photo
I have been a resident of Coldstream since 1976. I have had 15 years of experience on Council, 3 years as Mayor. As a current Councillor I am working to achieve fair water and sewer rates and to ensure that taxpayers get fair treatment. The current direction regarding water supply is unsustainable and I am doing all I can to get the most cost effective water supply possible.