Naramata Water System
Engineering Projects and Reports

Water Main Rehabilitation and Realignment Design

The Regional District contracted Urban Systems to construct a water system model and complete an assessment to determine which sections of water main in the Naramata water system are in need of replacement based on; the age of the pipe, its condition, and the need to upsize or downsize pipe diameters based on system hydraulics. Urban Systems identified three lengths of pipe with the highest priority for replacement, Smethurst, Upper Debeck, and Gawne. A design to replace the Salting Road water main will also be completed, due to a recent water main break making its replacement a higher priority.

Smethurst Road:
Smethurst was identified due to its age, condition, and its potential for realignment to a more accessible and less environmentally sensitive area. Currently this section of water main acts as an upland connection between the north and south portions of the water system and is critical for proper hydrology and maintaining water quality. The current alignment traverses rugged terrain, Naramata Creek, and environmentally sensitive areas included habitat for endangered animals.

Smethurst1 Smethurst Map Legend

When planning the replacement of the water main it was determined that simply replacing the water main in the same location would not be feasible due to:

1)  Environmental Concerns:

  • Approximately 0.5 to 1.0 hectares of trees and shrubs would need to be grubbed and cleared to create enough room to replace the water main in its current location.
  • Replacing the section of water main that crosses the creek would require an extensive environmental plan, approvals from various Ministries, which are very difficult to obtain, and additional works such as temporarily diverting Naramata creek that can be extremely costly.

2)  Access:

  • A water main break in this area would be very difficult to access and repair, and given its location it is likely that a break would result in thousands of liters of chlorinated water entering Naramata Creek and the surrounding ecologically sensitive areas, which would be devastating to the local habitat and fish-bearing stream.

For these reasons it was determined that realigning the water main to run along the KVR trail, which will make use of a previously established and maintained right of way, which provides easier access in the event of a break and reduces construction costs.

 Upper Debeck Road:

Upper Debeck was selected for replacement based on age and condition. A design to renew some sections of the water main had already been completed as part of other design projects however, the replacement of the sections never occurred due to budget constraints. The new design will incorporate as much of the existing design work where possible. The new water main will be a replacement in the same location, however we will explore opportunities for looping where possible:

Upper Debeck1
Upper Debeck Map Legend

This Project will take place when a grant or other appropriate sources of funding become available.

Gawne/Gammon Road:
The Gawne/Gammon Road area was also chosen based on age and condition. As part of the replacement, the RDOS will look to realign the water main to the road right of way to avoid the need for private right of ways, and to improve access to water main appurtenances such as valves.

Gawne 1 Gawns Map Legend

This project is not yet scheduled. Construction will take place once funding becomes available.

Elinor Lake South Dam
Elinor Lake South Dam

2020 Naramata Dam Safety Review

2020 Naramata Dam Safety Review

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen hired a qualified engineering consultant specializing in dam safety and inspections to prepare a Dam Safety Review as required under the BC Dam Safety Regulation and the Canadian Dam Association (CDA) Dam Safety Guidelines. The Canadian Dam Association defines a Dam Safety Review as: "A comprehensive formal review carried out at scheduled intervals to determine whether an existing dam is safe, and if it is not safe, to determine what improvements are required.

Hatch completed the Naramata Dam Safety Reviews, February 2021, view more information on dams and reports below.

The dam system above Naramata is comprised of four dams: Big Meadow, Elinor North, Elinor South and Naramata Dam. These structures have been a part of the Naramata Water System (NWS) since its creation in the 1930’s. The RDOS has managed and owned the dams since 1988 when the water system was acquired.

Historically the dams were used as a source of upland water and gravity fed the Naramata water system. Since the water treatment plant in Naramata was completed in 2007, the water system has sourced its water only from Okanagan Lake. The dams have been maintained as a secondary or emergency water source.

In accordance with provincial regulations, dam owners must complete a Dam Safety Review (DSR) every 7-10 years to insure their dams and associated infrastructure are meeting regulations for operations, maintenance and condition.

One of the challenges associated with the operations of the dams, is the lack of historical documentation on the construction of the dams and the lack of monitoring equipment. One of the goals of the DSR project was to close these data gaps where possible, and to develop an action plan to address the issues in the future.

In 2020, the RDOS contracted HATCH Ltd. to complete the DSR for the four Naramata Dams.

Locations of the dams above Naramata, see below:

Locations of Dams Naramata

HATCH completed a comprehensive review of the historical documentation on the dams including a site visit in the summer of 2020, and prepared reports representative of the existing infrastructure.

In general, HATCH notes the dams are in good standing. However, inadequate monitoring equipment (piezometers and weirs) make it difficult to complete a full assessment. The equipment is used to assess how effectively earth fill dams are performing and can help identify issues inside the dams, which if left unaddressed could lead to a catastrophic failure.

A work plan has been prepared for the next several years to address the outstanding issueson the four dams. The work plan for 2021 is anticipated to include geotechnical investigations for understanding the construction of the dams, installing piezometers and weirs to monitor the performance of the dams, and additional maintenance work.

20210301 - 2020 Naramata Dam DSR -Big Meadow
20210301 - 2020 Naramata Dam DSR -Elinor North
20210301 - 2020 Naramata Dam DSR -Elinor South
20210301 - 2020 Naramata Dam DSR -Naramata Dam 
Big Meadow Dam Spillway 



Naramata Water System - Generator Project

Historically, the lack of backup power for the Naramata Water system has been a noted deficiency since the Regional District contracted AECOM to complete an assessment of the system in 2005. Following in the recommendations form the report, the RDOS begin planning and budgeting for the installation of backup power at key sites, and in 2015 the Board of Directors approved the project as part of the 2016 Naramata Water System capital budget.

Reliable backup power is an important component of a water system, particularly in rural communities where wildfires have the potential to compromise power lines, including transmission lines which are major pieces of electrical infrastructure that require lengthy repairs, if damaged. Water systems lacking backup power are generally understood to not have adequate firefighting capacity.

Once budget approval was received, the engineering department released a Request for Proposals (RFP) to contract a consultant to complete a design for the installation of the 3 new generators for the; Naramata Water Treatment Plant, Raw Water Pump Station, and Juniper Booster Station respectively.

AECOM was the engineering firm chosen as to provide design and engineering services for the project and completed design for a; 1000 Kilowatt (kW) Generator for the Naramata Water Treatment Plant, 600 kW Generator for the Raw Water Pump Station, and 100 kW Generator for the Juniper Booster Station. The design was then tendered and awarded to Houle Electric Ltd. who started construction in 2016 and completed the project in mid-2017.

 Raw Water Pump Station generator  Figure 1 Raw Water Pump Station Generator
 Juniper Booster Generator  Figure 2 Juniper Booster Generator
 McKay WTP Generator  Figure 3 McKay WTP Generator

20050513 Associated Engineering, Naramata Water Supply Improvements Pre-Design Report, click link to view 

2017 Naramata Water System Rehabilitation Project

The 2017 Naramata Water System (NWS)Upgrade Project involved the replacement of about 5 kilometers of deteriorating water main. The water main sections were chosen for replacement based on the Regional District's Asset Management Investment Plan (AMIP) and the Average Annual Life Cycle Investment (AALCI) for the NWS. The four sections replaced included: Naramata Road and side roads, Hayman and Lower Debeck Road, Juniper Drive, and Lower Old Main.

Ecora Engineering and Resource Group Ltd. (ECORA) completed the engineering and contract administration services for the project. Three contractors were hired to complete the construction. Grizzly Excavating (Grizzly) for Naramata Road and side roads contract, H & M Excavating on Juniper Drive, and Twin Con for Hayman Road, Lower Debeck and the Lower Old Main.

Construction in all areas started on July 17, 2017.  The majority of the work was completed over the next 4 months with approximately 4.4 kilometers of new water main installed. The remainder of the watermain replacement and roadwork was completed in the spring of 2018.

The total cost for this project was just under $4.7 Million.

2017 NWD Rehab Proj 2   2017 NWS Rehab pic open pit

 Naramata Water Meters:

The Naramata Water Meter Pilot Program was completed in 2017. The meters are still a great tool for Naramata enabling everyone who had a meter installed to see how much water they use.  A total of 115 water meters were installed (36 commercial/winery, 44 agricultural and 35 residential).

As new connections are installed or existing connections are replaced, meter vaults are installed for receiving a meter in the future. 

 To view the Water Conservation page, click here.

Naramata Capital Plan & Developmental Cost Charge (DCC) Review:


Engineering Reports and Studies: