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

UPDATE: Logging truck spill cleared east of Lumby

Accident happened between McInnes Road and Rawlings Lake Road

Community comes together for Easter Seals Camp Winfield

On June 15, the community of Lake Country came out to help raise funds for Easter Seals Camp Winfield

PHOTOS: Vernon Community Music School hosts “Hootenanny Hoedown”

The music school hosted their annual year-end country fair on June 7

Dancing with Shuswap Stars attracts Rust Valley Restorers

TV show stars join quest to hone some fancy footwork

Armstrong gathering for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls

Memorial Park gathering on June 22 will honour women with speakers and roundtable discussions

PHOTOS: Elusive ‘ghost whale’ surfaces near Campbell River

Ecotourism operator captures images of the rare white orca

Coroner’s report confirms suicide in Ben Kilmer case

2018 disappearance sparked massive search

Eight U.S. senators write to John Horgan over B.C. mining pollution

The dispute stems from Teck Resources’ coal mines in B.C.’s Elk Valley

Restrictive policies affecting labour mobility for care aides in B.C.

‘I had to take two competency exams and pay over $1,400,’ said an Okanagan care aide

Threats charge against Surrey’s Jaspal Atwal stayed

Atwal, 64, was at centre of controversy in 2018 over his attendance at prime minister’s reception in India

Emerging artists given chance at Shuswap’s Roots Blues Festival

Chosen participants can perform two 40-minute sets on the Wednesday or Thursday night, and more.

Anti-vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to speak in Surrey

He’s keynote speaker at Surrey Environment and Business Awards luncheon by Surrey Board of Trade Sept. 17

Otters devour 150 trout at Kootenay hatchery

The hatchery has lost close to 150 fish in the past several months

Officials remain optimistic in the face of closure of Shuswap’s Waterway Houseboats

Sicamous mayor and chamber of commerce concerned for staff who lost jobs

Most Read