West Kelowna  

Quick work protects water

The integrity of a key source of drinking water in the Central Okanagan remains safe, despite damage to some important infrastructure this week.

As a result of increased snowmelt and extremely high runoff, MacDonald Creek overflowed at Brenda Mine, causing damage to internal roads and a pipeline that transports untreated runoff from a retention pond to the mine’s water treatment plant.

The District of Peachland and Regional District of Central Okanagan say quick action from Glencore, the mine’s owner, along with the Ministries of Environment, Energy and Mines and Interior Health resulted in temporary measures to prevent any discharge of untreated water.

MacDonald Creek flows into Trepanier Creek, which is a source of drinking water for about 1,500 Peachland residents, plus users of the RDCO’s Star Place water system.

“When it comes to public health and the safety of our residents, it’s paramount that our sources of drinking water are protected," said Peachland Mayor Cindy Fortin.

Tanker, sedan collide

A sedan and tandem tanker truck collided in downtown Westbank Friday afternoon.

The septic tanker slammed into the back of a sedan at Elliott Road and Highway 97 (Dobbin Road) in West Kelowna about 2:20 p.m.

The female driver of the sedan suffered minor injuries in the collision.

It could have been a lot worse. The foul contents of the septic truck weren't the only concern. A fuel tanker was unloading gasoline at the Chevron station just across the sidewalk from the crash, only a few feet away.

Police, firefighters and paramedics attended the incident, which backed up traffic through Westbank.

Safety warning in Gellatly

Due to high water levels and wave action, the City of West Kelowna is advising users of the Gellatly Walkway to be extremely careful along the section of pathway between the CNR wharf and Willow Beach.

The city has consulted with an engineer about flood-caused erosion of the path. Staff have been advised the path can remain open for now, provided areas impacted by waves and high water are marked off limits.

The public is asked to obey signs and stay clear of marked hazards.

If waters continue to rise substantially and wave action continues to erode the path, more sections may be closed.

Stay safe, don't attract bears

Andrea Tait is on a mission to keep human-wildlife conflict to a minimum.

Tait is back as regional WildSafeBC community co-ordinator, thanks to funding from the City of West Kelowna, District of Peachland, Regional District of Central Okanagan and provincial government.

"Our motto of ‘keeping our wildlife wild and communities safe’ is based on the belief that if we work together to properly manage attractants, we can make our community safer, and also prevent wildlife from coming to harm," says Tait.

She encourages residents to take care of wildlife attractants now to avoid unwanted visitors this spring, summer and autumn.
 Residents should store garbage in a secure location, such as inside a shed or garage, until the morning of pickup.

Bird feeders should be removed, as it attracts everything from rats to bears. Residents are also asked to pick up any ripe or fallen fruit promptly, feed pets indoors and avoid the use of outdoor fridges and freezers.

Tait can be reached on Facebook at WildSafeBC Okanagan Westside, by email at [email protected], or by phone at 250-862-7336.

Free water after boil notice

West Kelowna residents who have been placed under a boil-water notice can now access free bulk water.

The notice was issued Wednesday after Tuesday's storm surge on Okanagan Lake, causing treated effluent to be discharged into the lake from the Westside Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The boil-water notice was issued for anyone who draws drinking water from Okanagan Lake, within 300 metres of the temporary wastewater bypass near Pebble Beach, south of Gellatly Road.

The service has also been extended to other lakefront property owners who use their own water intakes.

The water can be found at a filling station at the corner of Shannon Lake Road and Asquith Road. Users must bring their own containers and hoses.

The free water has been treated using filtration, UV radiation and chlorination, and will be offered during the duration of the water-quality advisories. 

Storm steals park jumps

Boaters beware – it's not just logs you have to watch out for on Okanagan Lake.

Conrad Wiker at Whiplash Cable/Wake Park on the Westbank First Nation waterfront near the Bennett Bridge says Tuesday night's storm tore four of the park's obstacles from the beach.

Wiker has already recovered two, but alerts the public that two more of the large ramps and jumps are still floating out there.

The large, white obstacles are about 16 feet long and eight feet wide, weighing 350-400 pounds each. They could cause serious damage if a boat were to run into them.

"I just wanted to let people know for public safety," said Wiker. "They could be floating just beneath the surface, so they might be hard to see. Boaters should be aware."

He said even though the obstacles were out of the water and secured on the beach, the wind storm and high waves pulled them away.

If anyone sees them, they are asked to contact Wiker at 250-878-9090 so he can recover them.

Water advisory upgraded

A public health advisory issued Tuesday night has been upgraded to a boil-water notice for some residents of West Kelowna.

The advisory was issued during Tuesday's storm surge on Okanagan Lake, regarding the discharge of treated effluent from the Westside Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant.

After further discussions with Interior Health, the regional district has been made aware that residences between 2523 and 2589 Whitworth Rd. are not connected to a municipal water supply and may draw water from the lake.

As a result, a boil-water notice is in place for anyone drawing drinking water from Okanagan Lake within 300 metres of the additional temporary wastewater treatment plant bypass discharge located just off the Pebble Beach Park shoreline.

Affected residents should boil any water used for drinking, cooking, washing produce or fruit, making beverages and ice or brushing teeth for at least one minute or secure an alternativee source of safe drinking water.

The district is providing bottled water for affected residents.

Also, as a precaution, swimming is not recommended within 150 metres of the temporary effluent discharge.  The municipal park remains closed.

Crash closes library

The Peachland branch of Okanagan Regional Library is temporarily closed for repairs.

After an incident involving a car, the building sustained a significant amount of external and internal damage requiring structural evaluation. Okanagan Regional Library is working closely with the building owner to ensure the library will be up and running as quickly as possible. 

The library is taking the unexpected incident as an opportunity to update the branch.

The library should fully reopen in late June. 

Since the accident, residents have been travelling to Summerland and Westbank for their library services. 

Brenda Mines exit closed

A washout has forced closure of the Brenda Mines exit off the Okanagan Connector.

In a brief statement, DriveBC says the exit is closed in both directions until further notice.

Originally, the notice indicated the highway was also closed, however, that has since been rescinded.

Water advisory on Westside

A public health advisory has been issued relating to the temporary pumping bypass of treated effluent from the westside regional wastewater treatment plant into Okanagan Lake.

As a result of further consultation with Interior Health, the Central Okanagan Regional District issued the precautionary advisory Tuesday night.

Interior Health recommends anyone drawing drinking water from Okanagan Lake within 150 metres of the bypass discharge, located just off Pebble Beach Park in West Kelowna, should boil or secure an alternate source of safe drinking water.

In addition, swimming is discouraged within 150 metres of the temporary discharge. The park on Whitworth Road was closed by the City of West Kelowna last week as flood protection works were installed.

Due to rising lake levels and an increase in wastewater flows into the treatment plant from West Kelowna, Peachland and the Westbank First Nation, the additional pump was added last week, boosting the outfall capacity of the plant’s treated effluent.

The additional pump is required because higher than normal lake levels have caused a decreased flow of treated effluent from the plant’s outfall in Okanagan Lake.

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