Duteau Creek is currently serving all Greater Vernon water customers.

Duteau Creek is currently serving all Greater Vernon water customers.

Mission Hill water source turned off because of turbidity

All Greater Vernon customers now using the Duteau Creek source

Greater Vernon residents are united when they turn on their taps.

On Monday, the Regional District of North Okanagan switched off the Kalamalka Lake source because of turbidity and about 55,000 people are now using the Duteau Creek source.

“There is a lot of dirty water coming from Coldstream Creek and the Okanagan Basin Water Board is doing milfoil control on Kalamalka Lake too,” said Renee Clark, water quality manager, of potential sources of the turbidity.

“There are also a number of storm water outfalls that go into the lake.”

Clark says it was decided to switch over to Duteau Creek treatment facility to avoid a boil water notice for Kal Lake customers.

The Mission Hill treatment plant, which treats water from Kalamalka Lake, does not have filtration.

“Filtration will cost about the same as Duteau Creek (about $20 million),” said Clark when asked why there isn’t filtration at the Mission Hill plant.

There are generally about 35,000 people served by the Mission Hill treatment plant and 20,000 by the Duteau system.

It’s not known how long the Kal Lake source will be turned off because runoff through Coldstream Creek is unpredictable.

Discussions will also be held with OBWB about milfoil control.

“We hope to get that work done in a couple of weeks,” said Clark, who says there is sufficient flow within the Duteau system to handle all customers.

Customers not generally on the Duteau Creek source may notice that the water is softer and has a low alkalinity and pH.

“This may be of interest to those customers who have in-home water treatment systems or aquariums,” said Clark.