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Water Today Title June 29, 2022

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Asvisory of the Day



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High lake water levels on Lake Okanagan affecting the treatment of waste water have resulted in a Boil Water Notice being put in place for a small section of West Kelowna, British Columbia.

The Regional District of Central Okanagan upgraded a precautionary Public Health Advisory issued on Tuesday night to a Boil Water Notice regarding the discharge of treated effluent from the Westside Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant into Okanagan Lake.

"It's not just a single discharge, it's a continuous discharge," said Dan Ferguson, Manager within the population health portfolio with Interior Health Authority, "What's happening is the community sewer system is being inundated by the high water from Okanagan Lake. They're able to treat the sewage but they can't discharge it to the lake as rapidly as they need to."

The district has installed an overland line and are discharging treated sewage at the end of the beach.

"From our perspective, whether it's raw sewage or treated sewage, it does present health risks for water users hence the geographic notice," said Ferguson.

The exact number of people this notice affects couldn't be confirmed but it applies to 11 lots of land that contain a total of 14 dwellings.

The Regional District is providing the Boil Water Notice directly to the affected property owners. In addition, as recommended by Interior Health, they are providing bottled water for affected residents.

Ferguson said that the Regional District of Central Okanagan will continue discharging as long as the lake levels are high.

"We're waiting for the lake to recede, so it's probably another three to four weeks, Ferguson said, "It's the second highest water level ever recorded, so it will probably be until the end of June if I'm speculating."

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