OK source includes hurdles

Okanagan Lake may not necessarily be the answer to Greater Vernon’s water demands

Okanagan Lake may not necessarily be the answer to Greater Vernon’s water demands.

Members of the master water plan stakeholders advisory committee were told Thursday that costly treatment processes will still be needed if the Okanagan Lake source is tapped.

“It will not likely be just chlorination and ultraviolet. There will be treatment,” said Dale McTaggart, Regional District of North Okanagan’s general manager of engineering.

While communities in the central and southern parts of the valley use Okanagan Lake for water, McTaggart says there are no scientific studies on water quality in the northern arm.

One possibility from using Okanagan Lake is trihalomethanes, a group of compounds that can form when the chlorine used to disinfect drinking water reacts with naturally occurring organic matter (decaying leaves and vegetation), according to Health Canada.

To avoid such situations, Zee Marcolin, Greater Vernon Water manager, says water pipes would have to be extended far out into the lake’s main arm and such a proposition could be expensive for the utility.

The other issue is that GVW is running into challenges getting provincial approval to access water from Okanagan Lake.

“It’s been a year-and-a-half and they haven’t even come to the table provincially,” said Marcolin of trying to obtain a water license.

“We’re in a holding pattern.”

One possible reason for the hold-up is that Greater Vernon may not need Okanagan Lake water for 50 years.

“It’s a low priority for them (province) because it’s not something you need right now,” said Rod MacLean, with Associated Engineering.

It was also suggested that provincial departments are short-staffed and facing demands from communities with immediate water issues.

While there have been suggestions of abandoning Duteau Creek for domestic use, Marcolin says it could still be needed if quagga and zebra mussels  show up in Kalamalka and Okanagan lakes.

“With Kal Lake, the risk is high because of very high calcium levels. It’s the perfect environment (for the invasive species),” she said, adding that Duteau Creek has low calcium levels so its risk is reduced.

These mussels clog water intake pipes, pumps and boat motors. They also deplete food sources for fish and produce toxins that kill fish and birds and contaminate drinking water.





Just Posted

Vernon to show shoreline some love to celebrate BC Rivers Day

Volunteers wanted to help with riparian restoration on O’Keefe Ranch

Section of 27th Street in Vernon closed

The street has been closed from 30th Avenue to Highway 6 due to weather disrupting repaving

Cyclist struck on Vernon highway

Emergency crews responding, more information to come

New Vernon pastry chef has real sweet tooth

Caken Me Crazy’s owner left the dental industry to pursue the culinary arts

Vernon retirement home holding open house

Orchard Valley will open doors to the public on Saturday, Sept. 21

VIDEO: Police interview with Sagmoen made public

Defence lawyer says statements made by accused Curtis Sagmoen should be deemed inadmissible

VIDEO: B.C.’s famous cat Grandpa Mason has died

The story of the feral cat that started fostering kittens touched people around the world

Charges stayed against Alberta RCMP officer in alleged off-duty Whistler assault

Const. Vernon Hagen instead completed an alternative measures program

Codling moths remain a problem for Okanagan apple growers

Problem areas for pest include Summerland, Penticton and Naramata

WFN elects new chief

Westbank First Nation members elected Christopher Raymond Derickson Thursday night

Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen works to control mosquito populations

Control efforts in the region have been starting earlier each year

Columbia-Shuswap governments promised voice in caribou recovery

Population of Frisby-Boulder herd northeast of Sicamous at 11 animals and declining

PAW Patrol Live! adds third Penticton show due to pup-ular demand

Fans can now see the heroic pooches at three different showtimes at the SOEC

Most Read