Boil water notices cast aside

The Greater Vernon Advisory Committee is moving towards switching water sources if there are turbidity concerns

Greater Vernon residents will likely hear about fewer boil water advisories.

The Greater Vernon Advisory Committee is moving towards switching water sources if there are turbidity concerns instead of issuing boil water notices or water quality advisories.

“The fact that we have two systems that, outside of peak demand in the summer, gives us the ability to avoid boil water notices,” said director Bob Fleming.

“It gives us flexibility in the system and protects customers.”

The two sources that can be utilized depending on the water quality in the other are Kalamalka Lake and Duteau Creek.

Director Jim Garlick says conditions on Kalamalka Lake have changed in 50 years.

“It’s getting shallower and shallower. It’s not the lake it used to be,”  he said.

“There are benefits to having some variety.”

Staff insist that switching water sources is a more efficient process than issuing boil advisories.

“Public notifications are very labour intensive and actions required during an event include staff notifying 800-plus customers on the sensitive customer list, operations staff setting out sign boards in impacted areas and water quality staff conducting increased sampling,” said Renee Clark, water quality manager, in a report.

Staff must also develop media releases and respond to customers calls related to the event. Even with all of that work, not everyone knows about the advisories.

“Many customers have indicated to Greater Vernon Water that they do no listen to the radio, watch TV, have the Internet, read the paper, go outside or understand that a notice may apply to them,” said Clark.

“In addition, the Kalamalka supply is more vulnerable as it supports most care facilities, the hospital, many schools and a large, elderly population.”

Clark added that a boil advisory can also have economic implications for restaurants and hotels.

Support for switching water sources instead of issuing boil advisories comes from director Mike Macnabb.

“Staff are doing a great job and Interior Health Authority criteria are being met,” said Macnabb.

“What we have is a robust system to meet the health of the people on our system.”

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Calls for potential overdoses in B.C. spiked in 2020, especially in the Okanagan - Shuswap. Pictured above is a BCEHS re-enactment of paramedics attending an overdose. (BCHES photo)
UBCO program increases drug checking availability in Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon

January 2021 data shows of 95 opioid samples tested across Interior Health, 93 contained fentanyl

Vernon Morning Star Boomer Talk columnist says while we must use caution while dealing with COVID-19, we must also take care of the mental health of those who must live either permanently or temporarily in our care. (Evert Nelson/The Topeka Capital-Journal/AP file photo)
BOOMER TALK: Long term care is around the corner

Columnist recounts mother’s stay in local medical facility amid pandemic

Okanagan patients will benefit from the recent inclusion of the Medical Arts Health Research Group in a worldwide study with the National Institute of Health (NIH). The study will be a global collaboration for finding better treatments for COVID-19. (File photo)
Okanagan research group involved with finding better COVID treatments

Okanagan Medical Arts Health Research Group invited to collaborate in global study

Charlie, a chocolate lab/German shorthaired pointer mix, helps announce the Regional District of North Okanagan’s Join The Pack dog licence challenge, which wraps March 5. (Facebook photo)
Celebrity dogs announce North Okanagan licence challenge

Regional District of North Okanagan hopes to licence 1,500 more dogs by March 5

A rainbow shining on Kelowna General Hospital on May 12, 2020 International Nurses Day. (Steve Wensley - Prime Light Media)
New COVID cases trending down in Interior Health

24 new cases reported Thursday, Feb. 25, death at Kelowna General Hospital

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Larch Place is the first building to be built in the BC Housing, Canadian Mental Health Association housing project at the corner of Third Street SW and Fifth Avenue SW. This view is from the Shuswap Street side where it sits behind the Graystone East building. (File photo)
Opening of doors at new housing development in Salmon Arm welcomed

BC Housing announces opening of 32 rental units, with 35 more expected in summer 2021

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Vancouver International Women in Film Festival kicks off March 5.
Women in Film Festival features two B.C. filmmakers

The 16th annual festival kicks off March 5, 2021

The booklet roots present day activism in the history of racist policies, arguing the history must be acknowledged in order to change. (CCPA)
New resource dives into 150 years of racist policy in B.C.

Racist history must be acknowledged in order to change, authors say

Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller, before she knew she would change literature. Photo Wikipedia
And Then There Were None

What book knocked your booties off when you were young?

A webinar on dealing with dementia will be held Wednesday, March 10, 2021 (Submitted)
Webinar on dementia scheduled for March 10

Okanagan residents invited to event on legal issues surrounding dementia

Most Read