No Kalavista lagoon dam planned

Coldstream says it’s taking flooding seriously as does the City of Vernon

Coldstream’s Kalavista lagoon won’t be diked to prevent flooding on adjacent properties.

Some residents recently suggested damming the lagoon and pumping the water back into Kalamalka Lake as a way of mitigating flooding on those properties in the area.

“Last week, the district had a hydrologist with the Ministry of the Environment assess the area around the Kalavista lagoon,” said Trevor Seibel, chief administrative officer.

“From this assessment there were several observations noted. The water table is extremely high, pumping the water out of the lagoon would alter the natural, currently occurring, migration of water through the soil, lowering the water table in a specific area will cause water to migrate through the existing saturated soils with unknown impacts on things such as the lagoon banks sloughing in, area house foundations, roads and other district infrastructure. From this assessment it was determined that the unknown risk and liability concerns were too high to proceed with damming the lagoon at this time.”

One of the residents wanting action is Dave McDonald.

“If Coldstream could just block off the lagoon at the entrance and suck out a couple of feet of water, it could save several homes and a lot of money in disaster relief,” he said.

“I’ve only got 14 inches of leeway right now before it starts spilling into my doorways, and I am a ways from the lagoon. My shop and shed is in the lagoon already, the first time since it was built in 1960.”

The City of Vernon is also coming under fire.

Some Lakeshore Road residents believe not enough has been done to keep a rising Okanagan Lake from flowing through city parks into their properties.

“There’s rising flood waters but no protection on local, city owned properties,” said resident Kim Henderson.

“Residents sand bag the (Vernon) creek but where’s the city’s help? City of Vernon where are you?”

However, city officials defend their actions.

“The city will protect all municipal infrastructure it determines is at risk from the flooding . At this point, there is no infrastructure impacted by the flooding,” said Patti Bridal, director of corporate services.

“The lake access site area in this location has not been flooded. However, the creek entering Okanagan Lake, which is not part of the city owned lake access site, has expanded and the water from the lake is backing up on to private properties as the lake rises.”