City Services


The Utility Department is responsible for collecting wastewater from approximately 3146 sewer connections and treating the wastewater to Ministry of Environment regulated standards for safe discharge into Okanagan Lake via a deep lake outfall pipeline. With approximately 55 kilometres of sewer mains, 8 lift stations, over 700 manholes, and a Wastewater Treatment Plant, staff follow strict operating procedures to ensure compliance with Operating Certificate requirements.

The operation and maintenance duties are jointly shared by the Wastewater Division and the Works Division as follows:

Wastewater Division

  • Wastewater treatment
  • Lift station repairs and maintenance
  • Wastewater testing
  • Sani-station

Works Division

  • Sewer main flushing
  • Lift station cleaning
  • Sludge hauling to the Landfill
  • Service installations and repairs

Wastewater Treatment Plant

Summerland's Wastewater Treatment Plant uses a biological nutrient removal process to treat the waste water so that it can be disposed of into Okanagan Lake.  The following is a simplified schematic of the treatment process. Click here for a more detailed WWTP Process Flow Chart (18KB PDF).

Process Summary

1. Screening and Grit Removal

  • Removes solids and heavy materials which increases life expectancy of equipment and reduces maintenance costs

2. Clarification

  • Primary clarification takes place in a settling tank that allows sufficient time to allow suspended matter to settle out of the wastewater
  • Biological treatment uses bacteria in a combination of aerobic and anaerobic zones to remove organic material, phosphorous, and nitrogen.
  • Secondary clarification takes place in a second settling tank. Alum is added to adhere the particles to each other. This makes the particles heavier which increases the efficiency of the settling process.

3. Filtration 

  • The filtration beds filter out the remaining particles and some of the bacteria that is still present

4. Ultra Violet

  • The ultra violet kills the remaining bacteria and pathogens such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium

After the wastewater has been treated it is then disposed of into Okanagan Lake via a deep outlet pipeline. Ongoing testing takes place to ensure quality control.

We ask residents to assist in keeping the Wastewater Treatment Plant running efficiently and Okanagan Lake clean by not flushing the following items down your toilet or your sink:

  • Chemicals that are harmful to bacteria as they will eliminate the bacteria that is required for the biological nutrient removal process and could possibly end up in the lake.
  • Oils and greases entering the system will not mix with the wastewater. This can create oil or grease balls that impair hydraulic capacity of the pipes and treatment plant equipment.
  • Any fire or explosion hazard such as gasoline, fuel oils, or cleaning solvents as they present a risk to staff.
  • Other prohibited items
More Information

To contact the Utility Department:
Phone:  250-494-0431
Fax:  250-494-3399
Email:  works&
After Hours Emergency:  250-493-0005