There are some concerns about culvert pipes impacting water quality along Coldstream Creek.

There are some concerns about culvert pipes impacting water quality along Coldstream Creek.

Coldstream Creek water quality gets upgrade

A study shows there are several sources of pollution along the 27-kilometre creek

Coldstream Creek isn’t as clean as it could be, but work is underway to improve conditions.

A study shows there are several sources of pollution along the 27-kilometre creek from Noble Canyon to Kalamalka Lake.

“We wanted to take an unbiased look at the sites across the creek,” said Trina Koch, a biologist with Western Water Associates in Vernon.

During phase one in 2015, 150 sites were investigated as part of dry-season sampling of the creek and ground water.

Phase two in 2016 focused on sampling for seasonal variables.

It appears the worst source of pollution is nitrates coming from three culverts from an old dairy farm.

However, conditions there could improve soon as wetlands are being constructed to filter out any pollutants.

“The District of Coldstream is dealing with that problem which is great,” said Bryer Manwell, a hydrogeologist with WWA.

“We hope to see the work have a significant influence on water quality in the creek.”

The second largest source of nitrates in the creek is a culvert near Brewer Road.

“We don’t know the source but we’re assuming it’s agricultural runoff,” said Manwell.

Another issue is an artesian well containing sulfates and sodium. It could be influenced by upland sources.

The final source of contaminants appears to be livestock, primarily horses, accessing the creek.

The study by WWA has involved a number of partners, including the Society for the Protection of Kalamalka Lake, the Okanagan Basin Water Board, livestock producers, and Coldstream.

More analysis of the data is taking place.

“This is definitely preliminary,” said Manwell of the current findings, adding that a final report will be developed for local agencies soon.