Kelowna and IHA water

How will this new system work to make the Okanagan Lake water quality better, more improved and lasting into the future for our children.  First, remember this, if you do not have clean, good quality drinking water your population is in great trouble. 

Kelowna and IHA want to control the water distribution systems for the central Okanagan. How will they make it better than what is in place before this deal is made? They have taken over SEKID and maintained their staff since they know their system best, this is good. Farmers are now worried about the future availability and price of their irrigation water. Simple enough, install flow meters and charge accordingly not brain surgery.  Flow meters will make farmers conserve as much as possible and it is fair, users pay for quantity used. Will the water available from mountain lakes be enough to satisfy the farmers needs into the future? Will this mountain water be in need of treatment i.e. filtering and ultra violet before it is good for irrigation? 

With the system as is mountain water is also used for domestic systems as it is today, so treatment will be necessary if IHA has their way. Instead of spending millions on a treatment plant for the mountain water maybe the domestic lines to the area should come from existing Kelowna which comes from Okanagan Lake either at Knox Mountain or Cedar Creek pumping stations. Of course, Cedar Creek is on the down stream of the Kelowna KLO sewer plant outfall so they would be consuming spent sewage which has been through the Kelowna sewage treatment plant. Now we can ask, if this sewage treatment plant outfall is good enough quality water for introduction into the Okanagan Lake for the Cedar Creek pumping station to use for their domestic customers, then we have to assume that this sewage plant outfall is good enough for irrigation as well as domestic water for our customers in the Mission area of Kelowna. 

Kelowna can supply 30,000,000 liters per day every day of the year, of treated sewage water (now going into the Okanagan Lake at KLO) and West Kelowna can supply 10,000,000 liters of treated sewage water every day to the west side irrigation systems which will also come under the Kelowna and IHA control in time. Rose Valley water system is in need of a treatment plant if this water is to meet IHA status.  Just $42 million proposal.  If west side used only Okanagan Lake water for domestic purposes, then this plant is not needed for irrigation water. The $42 million or part of, could be used for the pumping station and ultra violet system instead.  Rose Valley water could still be used for irrigation no treatment needed. It seems needless to treat all Rose Valley water for both domestic and irrigation purposes. The 10,000,000 liters per day of sewage treatment out flow now going into Okanagan Lake on the west side could be used to supplement the existing irrigation supply. No need to add this sewage treatment outfall to the lake. 

Kelowna could do the same, use the sewage treatment plant out fall to supplement the irrigation supply thus sparing the Okanagan Lake from taking the 30,000,000 liters of sewage treatment outfall every day. So, what is the benefit of this idea? The Okanagan Lake water quality will improve greatly and will be available for domestic consumption. How will this extra irrigation supply affect the mountain lakes? The mountain lakes will thus be able to discharge clean water to the creeks leading into Okanagan Lake improving the water quality of the lake even more. 

Kelowna city and the water business should look to the future and not make expensive mistakes that will come back to bite the future generations. Do not be afraid  to do something different, make this work, make the new system smart and efficient. This new idea should specify that all Okanagan domestic water consumers drink from the lake, only then will everyone think and appreciate our supply of good drinking water.  Have a glass of water on me and think also of the fish.

Please note, City Of Vernon already does this why can’t we? Time for change for the better, work into the future. 

Jorgen Hansen

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