The Rutland Waterworks District has been serving the citizens of the Rutland community for over 60 years. The District's history has been documented using several documents including bylaws and minutes as well as discussions with several long-time community members. 

There are several stages in the District's development. These stages may seem insignificant in comparison to the rapid development we experience these days. In the early beginnings of the District however, there were many struggles by dedicated community leaders that contributed to the highly reliable water service that we take for granted today.

This text attempts to accurately diarize the events and people that founded and developed the Rutland Waterworks District for its first 50 years of existence. Additions of information, photos, or other event memories will be gladly accepted in the spirit of attempting to recreate the history of the water district.

In the mid to late 1940s the Rutland community was developing as a business center for the farming community and the lumber industry. Several orchards were established, the majority of which were supplied water from open flumes carrying irrigation water from the hills.

The most prominent irrigation source in the Rutland area was from the Black Mountain Irrigation District, which was established in 1940.

One of the anchor industries of the Rutland town core was the Rutland Sawmill. This mill was situated on the land presently occupied by Mara Lumber. Lots were subdivided from the mill's property holdings and sold originally to employees of the mill. A well on the mill property supplied water to the new homes. During the summer season the water supply was supplemented by the Black Mountain Irrigation District.

As this community grew it became apparent that a domestic water system for the Rutland town core was a necessity. An application was made to the Provincial Water Rights Branch in Victoria and the District received its official status as a water district with the receipt of the Letters Patent dated December 28, 1949. The development of the water district since its inception went through several stages. These periods of District development took many years of dedicated effort by the citizens of Rutland and as a result the District has established a very reliable and affordable water system serving approximately 14,000 citizens.

1949 - 1954

  • Letters Patent were issued December 28, 1949, establishing the Rutland Waterworks District by order of Lieutenant-Governor C.A. Banks and Minister of Lands and Forests E.T. Kenney.
  • The founding Trustees were John Wilson, Chairman, Clarence Kellerman, Assessor, and Art Gray, Secretary.
  • The first official bylaws established were a Borrowing Bylaw for $1000, and an Assessment Roll Bylaw for taxation purposes. The tax on an individual lot was $12.00.
  • The first Toll Rates Bylaw was established in 1952, and the charge was $1.00 per building.
  • In 1953 William Kellerman became Chairman of the Board of Trustees. Taxes were $6.00 per lot, and tolls were $18.00 per year. The service area during this period was quite small and was centralized in the core of Rutland as we know it today.

1955 - 1967

  • In 1955 H.D. Dendy became Chairman and the Board was expanded to a five man board, from three. The other Board members were John Wilson, A. Druitt, J. Would, and one more unidentified member.
  • A major infrastructure development was proposed for the District, and in 1956 a $200,000 Borrowing Bylaw was passed to support the proposed works. The repayment schedule extended to 1981. This bylaw was later repealed.
  • In 1957, the District purchased land for $1300 for a reservoir site, and an additional lot for a pump house.
  • Also in 1957, C.E. Sladen was appointed Assessor and Collector.
  • Group classifications were established for taxation purposes.
  • The trustees in 1957 were John Wilson, Chairman, Dr. Druitt, H. May, C. Kellerman, and H. Mallach.
  • A new bylaw was established on June 30, 1958 to authorize a debenture for $200,000.
  • In early 1958, four test meters were installed in three homes and one business for one year to determine the average consumption.
  • In 1958 the tolls were raised to $54.00 per year per dwelling.
  • In 1959 Harold Mallach became Board Chairman and taxes for an individual dwelling were raised to $14.00 per year.
  • In 1961 Clarence Kellerman was the Chairman.
  • In 1962 Dick Lucas became Chairman. Bylaw No. 27, the "Subdivision Water Regulations Bylaw" was passed.
  • A water meter bylaw was passed to raise $6000 for installation of water meters within the District.
  • On February 7, 1963, Bylaw No. 30, the Regulations for Water Service Bylaw was passed. All new services required a meter and cross connections with other water sources were prohibited.
  • In 1964 a second debenture bylaw was approved (Bylaw No. 32) in the amount of $12,000 for the purchase of equipment, installation of water meters, and pipeline replacement.
  • Fred Westen became Chairman in 1964.
  • The Rutland residential area was growing and the District began expanding its boundaries and upgrading some of its pipelines.
  • The 1965 Toll Rates Bylaw (No. 37) set the metered toll rates in the District. A single dwelling was charged $4.50 per month for the first 4000 gallons, plus 20 cents per thousand gallons over.
  • Bylaw No. 38 approved the expenditure of $9688 for the purchase of a fraction of a lot, the property to be used for a District storage area and office space.
  • Harold Hildred became Chairman in 1966.

1968 - 1988

  • In 1968 RWD entered into an agreement with Black Mountain Irrigation District. Rutland Waterworks sold a well and the property it was situated on to BMID. In exchange for this property BMID agreed to store and deliver to RWD between the 1st day of July and the 30th day of September in each year 100 acre-feet of water, commencing in 1968. This agreement was later repealed. A debenture for $50,000 was acquired in 1968 for capital improvements.
  • In 1969 the Toll Rates Bylaw set the Tolls and defined toll structures for West Rutland and Rutland proper. A single dwelling paid a toll of $4.50 per month, plus overage in Rutland proper, and $5.50 per month, plus overage in West Rutland.
  • The capital cost charge was increased in 1969 to react to new subdivisions and District expansion. The Rutland and Kelowna areas were given special status and promoted as the fastest growing community in Canada.
  • Two more borrowing bylaws were passed in 1969 in the amounts of $55,000 and $28,000 for capital improvments.
  • The connection fee for a 3/4" service was $200 plus $50 for each additional meter.
  • In 1970 new financing was required in the amount of $56,000 to keep up with the demand for water service. A 5.36 acre site on Mission Creek was purchased from WPW Developments for a settling pond site. The purchase price was $2,300 per acre for a total of $12,328.
  • In 1971 the District had a borrowing bylaw for $150,000 to assist with the purchase of Hollywood Dell Waterworks System.
  • Tolls were still $4.50 per month for the first 5,000 gallons, and $0.20 per thousand gallons thereafter.
  • Bylaw No. 75 made boundary amendments to turn over lands to Black Mountain Irrigation District for both irrigation and domestic. The Public Utilities Commission repealed the sale of Hollywood Dell Waterworks for the previous $150,000 commitment. A new bylaw and agreement was drawn up for the Hollywood Dell Waterworks in the amount of $90,000.
  • In 1972, Aubrey Blanchard became chairman of the Trustees. 1972 saw an increase in the basic toll rate to $5.80 per month for the first 6,000 gallons.
  • In 1973, the reservoir was designed by Okanagan Planning and Engineering Company. R.C. Lucas became chairman. Canada Granite was contracted to build the new reservoir.
  • In 1974, the minimum parcel tax went from $14 to $15. A debenture was taken out for $225,000 to build the 1.5 million gallon reservoir and construction of 7,500 feet of water main in West Rutland.
  • Brent Davis Irrigation District was taken over by Rutland Waterworks District as of October 31, 1974. Alan Patterson became chairman in 1974.
  • An interconnection bylaw allowed for a station at McIntosh and Rutland Roads for emergency service for Black Mountain Irrigation District or Rutland Waterworks District.
  • In 1979 the Capital Expenditures bylaw was introduced to collect funds for the expanded demands placed on the district by subdivisions, etc.
  • In 1984 the basic toll rate was $6.15 per month, then $6.40 per month in 1985.
  • The fire flow requirements on the Highway 33 corridor were increased significantly by the City. Rutland Waterworks District entered into an agreement with Black Mountain Irrigation District for fire protection on the south side of Highway 33.
  • In 1987 the Capital Cost bylaw was renewed to increase capital costs collected on a single family lot, from $100 to $250 per lot.
  • In 1988 the District's Letters Patent were recinded and replaced with new letters.

1989 - 1999   

  • In 1989 Mould Engineering produced a long range plan for the upgrading and expansion of the District's infrastructure. District management set a five year plan for modernizing the system, including computerized control systems, well rehabilitation, and computers and communication upgrades.
  • A borrowing bylaw for $200,000 was registered in 1991. Funds were raised primarily for a new computer operated pump control system. The new system was designed to automate most pumps and had a large pay-back component from gained pump efficiencies and flow regulation.
  • In March 1992 the tax rate went up $1 to $16 per single family dwelling. An "increasing block" toll system was introduced to the District which was designed to charge for excessive water use and keep essential use affordable.
  • A new backflow prevention bylaw was introduced in 1993 and a backflow device registry and hazard assessment program was introduced. District staff were certified in backflow prevention.