Water quality advisory still in effect for some West Kelowna residents

Residents on the city's Lakeview water system are being advised to boil water because of turbidity issues.

Water advisory continues for Lakeview Water System customers in West Kelowna.

The City of West Kelowna says while recent testing showed improvement in the quality of water coming out of its Rose Valley reservoir, a water quality advisory currently in place will remain for residents on the Lakeview water system.

The advisory, said the city, will continue until further notice.

The advisory affects approximately 4,000 connections (11,000 customers) in neighbourhoods including: Lakeview Heights, Rose Valley, Boucherie Centre, Shannon Woods, Tallus Ridge and Shannon Lake.  It was prompted when routine testing of the water in the system showed an elevated turbidity level.

Testing this week showed the turbidity level at 1.3 NTU but trending down. The city said in a news release issued Thursday it will continue to monitor the water quality daily.

It said the public will be notified as soon as possible as to when the advisory can be lifted.

Algae growth in Rose Valley Reservoir is the cause and is reportedly greater than normal due to unusual weather this year, contributing to the higher turbidity levels. NTU levels have not been this high in the Lakeview System since 2008, said West Kelowna city hall.

As turbidity increases, bacteria, viruses and microorganisms can attach themselves to the suspended particles in water. These particles can interfere with disinfection by shielding the microorganisms from the chlorine.

Turbidity guidelines are nationally established standards and are as follows:

Good (Less than 1 NTU) – No water restrictions are recommended.

Fair (1 to 5 NTU) – It is recommended that children, the elderly, people with compromised immune systems, and anyone seeking additional protection, use water that is brought to a running boil for one minute, or a safe alternative.

Poor (Above 5 NTU) – It is recommended all users bring water to a running boil for one minute, or use a safe alternative.

Residents who ge their water from the Westbank, West Kelowna Estates, Pritchard and Sunnyside water systems are not affected. Neighbourhoods not affected by the Water Quality Advisory for the Lakevew system  include Glenrosa, Westbank, Smith Creek, Gellatly, Green Bay, South Boucherie/Mission Hill/Sunnyside, Pritchard Drive/Jennings and Hitchner Roads, West Kelowna Estates/Bear Creek, Casa Loma and areas of Westside Road within the city boundary.

The city has provided an interactive map on its website homepage under “News” at www.westkelownacity.ca to help customers determine if they live in the affected area.

Last week, West Kelowna advised Lakeview system residents to boil the water to be used by children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems for at least one minute before drinking, washing, cooking and preparing food, brushing teeth, making ice and mixing baby formula.

An alternative is to use another, safer source of water, such as bottled water.

For more information, please visit BC Health File – Preventing Water-Borne Infections for People with Weakened Immune Systems.