A water quality advisory that’s lasted longer than originally planned is now expected to be lifted by mid-March.
Greater Vernon Water (GVW) has been working on its Headgates Spillway project since September 2022. The project will increase the size of the spillway for the Headgates Dam at Harvey Lake to help protect water supply infrastructure, the environment and downstream properties.
The Duteau Creek Water Treatment Plant intake is in the Headgates Dam and the spillway work requires lowering the water in the reservoir during construction, which will reduce the volume of water available from Duteau Creek.
GVW had originally estimated that the project would be complete by Jan. 31, but on Jan. 27 it said a variety of construction delays had set the timeline back.
On Wednesday, March 1, GVW said it is “confident” that a current water quality advisory related to the project will be rescinded in mid-March.
For now, customers in the blue and green areas of the above map are still on a precautionary water quality advisory until further notice.
The advisory is in place for customers that receive water from Duteau Creek now that there is a reduction in water flows due to construction.
GVW notes that when less water flows through the UV disinfection facility, it may intermittently turn off without notice.
“While water may not be treated with UV, the water is still being treated with the clarification process and disinfected with chlorine,” the Regional District of North Okanagan stated in a press release.
Customers affected by the water quality advisory may wish to boil their water for at least one minute when preparing food, drinking, washing fruits and vegetables, making beverages or ice or brushing teeth.
To maintain ideal flows, some customers normally serviced by Duteau Creek may instead receive water from Kalamalka Lake without notice, which may be of interest to those who have in-home water treatment systems or aquariums as the water is harder and has a higher pH.