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Kamloops spends now to save later on water-treatment membranes

Kamloops Daily News

May 30, 2012

The City’s utilities department got commended by the mayor and council Tuesday for spending $5.8 million on membranes to go into the water-treatment system in 2014.

The reason? In another year and a half, the bill will be $1.8 million higher.

Kamloops saves $1.8 million on membrane replacement costs.

City utilities director David Duckworth told council General Electric, which bought out the membrane manufacturer Zenon, is closing one of its European plants.

As a result, the membranes are being cleared out, so to speak.

The water system was fired up in 2004, and the membranes have a 10-year life span.

So with that 2014 due date in mind, the City is buying membranes for $5.8 million now instead of $7.6 million later.

The City has a reserve fund to put away $750,000 a year toward that purchase, so the money’s already sitting and ready to be spent.

In addition to all that financial good news, Duckworth had more. The new membranes will allow the City’s water treatment plant to pump out 3.5 per cent more water and save $32,000 a year (13 per cent) in annual electricity costs.

Council voted unanimously to make the purchase.

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