Oyama Creek water level crashing over the spillway.

Oyama Creek water level crashing over the spillway.

Lake Country restricts water use

Flooding compromises Lake Country water system, district asks users to stop irrigation immediately

Residents along Bottom Wood Lake Road and several connecting streets north of Lodge Road are bracing for potential flooding problems in the days ahead.

Middle Vernon Creek has already jumped its banks and the volume of water for the BottomWood Lake Road culvert near Mayrus Road is beyond what it can handle.

Residents along Mayrus along with other streets fronting the raging creek on Deidor, Reimche, Seymour, Wageman, Rogers and Woodsdale roads along with Turtle Bay Court have been placed on evacuation alert.

A Mayrus resident surveying the creek that had already washed away access to his driveway off Bottom Wood Lake Road said he expects the creek could rise up to another foot.

“It’s the perfect storm,” he said, citing the combination of a melting snowpack and sudden downpour bursts of rain last week.

Signs of Duck Lake at full pool and still taking on more runoff are evident by flooded fields visible from Highway 97 at the southern end of the lake.

Lake Country deputy fire chief Brent Penner said the rising lake levels as the runoff flows through the Okanagan Valley lake system are added cause for concern.

“The water has to go somewhere,” he said, citing potential concerns for waterfront properties along the Wood-Kalamalka-Okanagan Lake interconnectd system if the lakes exceed their full pool levels.

As a result of recent flooding, the District of Lake Country today issued an urgent water notice advising that citizens should restrict their water use to domestic use only. No outdoor irrigation.

“The flooding has compromised the Oyama Lake and Beaver Lake water supply,” said Greg Buchholz, Director of Infrastructure Services, so we are relying completely on the lower lakes and must restrict everyone to domestic uses of water until further notice.”

District water utility staff are continually assessing the systems and monitoring the flooding impacts to provide basic water service for potable supply and fire protection.

“Options are being explored to get the agricultural irrigation back in operation as soon as possible,” said Mayor James Baker. “Filling a sprayer is okay, but all farmers are being asked not to irrigate right now.”

The district advises all residents to turn off sprinkler systems and do not fill swimming pools.

Additionally, citizens are reminded that under no circumstances should they direct storm, ground or drainage water into the sanitary sewers. Directing inappropriate flows into the sewer system is overwhelming the system and could cause system failure and public health and environmental impacts. Illegal connections and discharges will be investigated as serious offenses with financial penalties.