Kelowna to collect good and bad beach water for testing

But the city does not want the results of water its knows is bad made public for fear of tainting reputation of other city beaches.

Kelowna says it will test lake water off Cedar Avenue to show just how bad it is.

But it will not include the tests with other samples, to be taken at several local beaches, because it does not want the bad results it knows it will get from Cedar Avenue lumped in with other test results and the public, particularly visitors, to think Kelowna beaches are not safe places to swim.

Earlier this week, Kelowna city council agreed to collect water samples at local beaches for Interior Health to test, ending a holdout it started last year when IH said it could not longer afford to pay for the beach water sample collections.

In agreeing the city should collect the samples, Mayor Walter Gray said Kelowna should also test the water at Cedar Avenue— a site where the city posts signs saying it is unsafe to swim because of poor water quality—in order to show why the city feels that way.

But Joe Creron, the city’s director of civic operations, said the information collected about Cedar Avenue should not be made public because he feared it would taint the public’s view of Kelowna beaches.

In a recent survey, he said 85 per cent of visitors asked said local beaches were main reasons they visit Kelowna.

At its meeting on Monday, council agreed that the city will pay for the collection of water samples during the summer at popular beaches such as Hot Sands in City Park, Tugboat Bay in Waterfront Park, Gyro, Rotary and Sarsons.

Last year IH said it would no longer pay for the collection of water samples from beaches in municipalities in the Central Okanagan, prompting Kelowna to complain the move was a form of downloading. While other municipalities agreed to to pay for the sample collections and IH said it would pay for, and conduct, the water tests, Kelowna was a holdout.

It has now changed that position and will collect the samples before passing them  passed to IH for testing.

Gray said testing water at “no-swimming” sites like Cedar Avenue, Sutherland Bay and Fascieux Creek, would give the city the data it needs to show just how poor the water quality is at those locations.

Last year, Cedar Avenue was the subject of a controversial city development proposal that many in the community opposed. The opponents want the area maintained as a park.

Gray said while it could be used as a lakeshore park, its uses do not have to include swimming.

The poor water quality in the area is due to goose and duck excrement and poor water circulation and shallow depth.







Just Posted

Westbank Opry announces Christmas show

West Kelowna music fans are encouraged to bring a food donation to help the less fortunate

Giants ground Rockets in WHL action

Vancouver builds early lead, never looks back in 6-1 win at Langley Events Centre

Kelowna author promoting life-changing book

Book signing event at Chapters Sunday of long-awaited Runaway Trilogy of life-changing maxims

Pedestrian hit at ‘dangerous’ Kelowna cross walk

Emergency officials responded to a cross walk that neighbours say is unsafe Saturday evening

Permitted burns in Okanagan mountains

Kelowna Fire Department says please don’t call 911

Drones used in search for clues about missing women

A volunteer search party was supported by professional drone operators

Giants stop Rockets’ 4-game winning streak

Vancouver scored four first-period goals to down Kelowna in WHL action.

Letter: In support of proportional representation

Kelowna letter writer says Liberal comments on voting are off base

Letter: Avoiding unsubstantiated opinions

Letter writer takes exception to the tone of previous letter to the Kelowna Capital News

Start on time: Canucks looking to shake first-period struggles

Canucks centre Bo Horvat said the formula for getting a leg up is there for everyone to see

COMMUTER ALERT: Snowfall warnings in effect across B.C.

Travelling this weekend? Check the forecasts before hitting the road

Tips for keeping your personal data safe, from the experts

It’s important to keep your ‘online footprint’ safe

Lights to turn blue ahead of funeral for fallen Abbotsford police officer

Buildings across B.C. are going blue Saturday night in honour of Const. John Davidson

Ride-share pioneer drives up quietly to B.C. battleground

Lyft approaches B.C. without Uber bombast, eyes small towns

Most Read