Obviously questions are going to arise.
Why are some Greater Vernon residents being told to boil their water after $29 million was invested in a new Duteau Creek water treatment plant last September? Weren’t residents left with the impression that the need for advisories would virtually disappear? Is there something wrong with the facility?
The reality, though, is the plant is complex and leaps and bounds ahead of where we were with treatment. It is going to take time for staff to become familiar with the technology, and this is the first opportunity to deal with the pressures of residential and agriculture irrigation demands during the summer. Operational adjustments will occur through this process, and hopefully that will result in far fewer advisories in the future.
However, the Regional District of North Okanagan should be more proactive about making residents aware of the situation.
It’s not enough to simply fire off a press release to the media saying turbidity is high because of seasonal water sources and a quality advisory is needed. This does nothing to address the common perception that the treatment plant was supposed to get rid of yellow water.
What RDNO needs to do is provide customers with details about the operational process at the plant, either through the media, mail-outs or open houses. And it needs to be in language the average person can understand.
If there isn’t more focus on awareness, some residents will be left thinking the $29 million plant is nothing but a white elephant.
– Vernon Morning Star