Lake Country still investigating cause for water main break

Over 2,500 residences and businesses in Lake Country and Kelowna remain under boil water notice

More than 2,500 properties using the Okanagan Lake water source are affected by the boil water notice following Thursday’s water main break in Lake Country.

The exact cause of the break is still under investigation, District of Lake Country communications officer Karen Miller said.

The water main was struck at around 10:20 a.m. on Thursday as construction workers attempted to connect water and utilities for the Northview subdivison development. Water rushed out and down the hill south of Glenmore Road until it reached Highway 97. No injuries were reported, but two cars were trapped under gravel from a slide and homes were damaged.

READ MORE: Water main break floods Lake Country roads

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A planned water outage for water tie-ins on Glenmore was announced prior to Thursday’s events, Miller said.

“On top of the pre-planned shutdown to a small section of Glenmore Road, a water main was broken and as a result of that, over 2,500 residences are on a boil water notice,” she said.

The District of Lake Country’s first priority is always public safety, she said, and all available resources were on hand, including emergency services, the fire department, transportation ministry and first responders.

“Yesterday, all hands were on deck to get the water shut off and isolate the break,” Miller said. “Absolutely everyone did as fabulous a job as they could have in addressing it.”

Crews are working quickly to repair the water main, but the boil water notice will remain in effect until next week.

Miller said when the system loses a large quantity of water, it loses pressure. As a result, it can create a vacuum effect and suck water back into the pipes. The District of Lake Country, following Interior Health regulations and ensuring public safety, will wait for two days of “clear testing” before reversing the notice.

“Not only were many residences affected, but residents in the area, public infrastructure and private property,” Miller said. “For the residents in the Mountview area, it was traumatic.”

READ MORE: One car owner affected by broken water main was on his way to funeral

The District of Lake Country recommends homeowners whose property was damaged, on Thursday, follow normal protocol and make a claim with their home insurer to get started on repairs.

“If there are any further claims to be made, the insurer will subrogate other parties,” the district said.

The boil water notice also remains in effect for over 100 businesses and residences in Kelowna’s northern boundary.

Miller said properties served by private water utilities, well or direct intake are not affected. Residents who may be unsure as to where their water comes from can use MyWater GIS map to determine if they are in the affected area.

The temporary detour has been reinstated to divert traffic around the Glenmore Road closure and the construction area. Motorists are encouraged to avoid the area and instead take an alternate route via Highway 97 and John Hindle Drive.

Caitlin Clow
Reporter, Kelowna Capital News
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