Credit: Kevin Parnell/Capital News

Creek returns to normal

Mission Creek in Kelowna has returned to its regular water level for this time of year

Anyone looking at Mission Creek in the last few days would be hard pressed to imagine the raging torrent of water that was flowing down the creek bed during the recent flooding in Kelowna.

But according to the operations superintendent of the Black Mountain Irrigation District, the level of the creek is normal for this time of year.

Kevin Burtch, who has been checking the creek levels daily for the last 15 years, said Tuesday the sight of the rocky bottom in some areas through Mission Creek Regional Park should not be a concern for the public.

“This (level of water in the creek) is typical at this time of year,” said Burtch.

BMID takes the water for its system from Mission Creek under a water licence and in order to do so there must be predetermined levels of water passing by the intake.

The minimum amount of water passing the BMID intake upstream, just below Eight-Mile Ranch, is 0.5-cubic-metres per second, said Burtch.

“It’s now running about three to four times that,” he said.

In addition to the BMID’s need there are also set amounts that must flow down the creek to sustain fish in the water. The irrigation district can be told to release water from its reservoirs into the creek if needed.

Mission Creek is the biggest contributor of water into Okanagan Lake.

The lake is still well above its typical level as a result of the nearly two months of flooding that hit the area in June.