Summerland reservoir upgrade completed under budget

A modernization project at one of Summerland’s reservoirs was completed on budget.

The official opening of the Isintok Dam outlet took place on July 19 at the reservoir west of Summerland.

There has been a dam on this lake since 1926. In 2013, a video inspection showed that the exhaust pipe needed to be replaced. The contract for the detailed planning was awarded in spring 2019, and construction work began in August 2021.

“A project is never as easy as we think it is,” said Summerland Mayor Toni Boot. She explained that the lake level had to be lowered before work could begin.

The budget for the project was $2,415,860, with approximately $1.8 million to be raised by the federal and provincial governments through the Investing in Canada infrastructure program. Summerland’s budgeted share was $600,000 and was to come from capital reserves.

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However, the project fell under budget. The final cost was just over $2 million, meaning Summerland’s share was just over $225,000, Boot added.

She said the dam allows the community to store water for agriculture, regulate water for fish in Trout Creek and provide spring water for the water treatment plant.

In addition, dams contribute to the resilience against flooding.

The reservoir holds 1.3 million cubic meters of water. That’s the equivalent of 520 Olympic-size swimming pools.

Penticton MLA Dan Ashton said the outlet project shows an amazing vision of the Summerland community. He also thanked the provincial and federal governments for approving this project.

Okanagan Basin Water Board’s Anna Warwick Sears said the infrastructure work and maintenance of the dam is necessary.

“It’s very important to keep this dam in good condition,” she said.

Jeremy Storvold, director of utilities for the Summerland community, said maintenance of the dam is important to areas downstream, including the Trout Creek neighborhood of Summerland.

“If all this water came through at once, Trout Creek would have a problem,” he said. He added that widening the spillway has been identified as a future need for the community.

Design work was done by Kerr Wood Leidal and construction was done by Jim Dent Construction. Consultation with indigenous groups took place and planning was undertaken to ensure environmental outcomes were achieved.

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