Updated: Boil water notice issued for homes near Westside Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant

Boil water notice issued after emergency discharge bypass into Okanagan Lake had to be installed.

Update: May 24, 2017: 3:45 p.m.

The Regional District of Central Okanagan is upgrading the precautionary public health advisory it issued Tuesday night to a boil water notice regarding the discharge of treated effluent from the Westside Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant into Okanagan Lake.

After discussions with Interior Health, and in accordance with Ministry of Environment regulations, CORD was made aware residences between 2523 and 2589 Whitworth Road in West Kelowna are not connected to a municipal water supply and may draw water from Okanagan Lake.

As a result, the 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 are being told they 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 use an alternate source of safe drinking water.

The regional district said it is providing this boil water notice directly to affected property owners. As well, following a recommendation from Interior Health, it is also providing bottled water to affected residents.

Also, as a precaution, swimming is not recommended within 150 metres of the temporary park discharge for treated effluent. The municipal park was closed last week after flood protection works were installed.

CORD spokesman Bruce Smith said the discharge bypass is located fairly close tot he shore, not as far out as the permanent outfall from the treatment plan.

He added that the effluent from the bypass is treated to the same level as the effluent normally discharged through the outfall.

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

Both the Ministry of Environment and Interior Health were consulted last week when the supplemental pump was added for the treatment facility.

Original story:

As a result of further consultation with Interior Health, the Regional District is issuing an advisory in the interest of protecting public health relating to the temporary pumping bypass discharging treated effluent from the Westside Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant into Okanagan Lake.

Interior Health recommends anyone drawing drinking water from Okanagan Lake within 150 meters 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 meters from the temporary treated effluent bypass discharge off the Pebble Beach park shoreline. The park located along Whitworth Road, was closed by the City of West Kelowna last week as flood protection works were installed.

Both measures are precautionary in nature.

Due to rising lake levels and an increase in flows of wastewater into the treatment plant from those residents served in West Kelowna, Peachland and the Westbank First Nation reserves #9 and #10, last week the Regional District installed and continues to operate an additional pump, boosting the outfall capacity of the plant’s treated effluent. The treated effluent is the same material that is flowing out of the plant outfall into Okanagan Lake following the complete treatment process.

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.

Both the Ministry of Environment and Interior Health were consulted regarding the addition of a supplemental pump from the Westside Regional Wastewater Treatment facility.