Quality of water entering Okanagan Lake deteriorating

Turbidity levels way up in contributing creeks thanks to high water levels and fast flows.

Not only is the level of Okanagan Lake rising quickly, the quality of the water going into the lake from some of its major sources is plummeting.

According to the City of Kelowna, which is now testing water flowing out of both Mission Creek and Mill Creek into the lake on a daily basis as opposed to weekly, turbidity levels have shot up over the last seven days.

Ed Hoppe, water quality supervisor for the City of Kelowna, said Wednesday the turbidity level tested at the mouth of Mill Creek was nearly three times higher on Wednesday than it was just a week ago.

The city regularly tests the water flowing into Okanagan Lake, in part, because its water utility gets its supply from the lake.

Kelowna’s water system is currently under a water quality advisory because of the higher-than-normal turbidity levels and the advisory will remain in place until the levels subside. The advisory went into effect May 12.

The city has four water intakes on the lake and currently treats its water with both ultra-violet light and chlorination.

Water washing down Mission Creek and Mill Creek, two of the largest sources of water for Okanagan Lake, are raising the lake by an estimated three to four centimetres each day. On Tuesday night, during a severe windstorm that whipped up lake waters and created waves that pushed over flood protection measures in some lakeshore areas, the level of the lake rose rise 4.5 centimetres over night. The lake level is now just five centimetres below the record high of 343 metres set in 1948.

Hoppe said given the conditions, first with area creeks and then with the lake itself, the city started testing water quality daily two weeks ago. He said over the next few days additional testing will indicate if elevated turbidity recorded Wednesday is just a spike or a new normal.

Typically, at this time of year, turbidity in Mill Creek is recorded at about 34 NTU—where it was last week. On Wednesday, it was recorded at 110 NTU.

For more information about the water quality advisories in all water supply jurisdictions in the city—there are five major purveyors—and a host of other related information, go to kelownajointwatercommittee.ca.

Just Posted

Heavy rain causes flooding in the Central Okanagan

Portion of lower Glenrosa Road closed due to flooding

Feature Friday: Is the sky the limit for downtown Kelowna construction?

City building up, not out, as high rise living becomes more popular

CNIB promises to respond to criticism

Blind community advocates call for inclusion initiatives

Stargate armour debuts at Kelowna expo

The Kelowna Fan Experience will feature Jaffa armour from Stargate SG-1

Vancouver Aquarium’s resident octopus released into ocean

Staff let the Giant Pacific octopus go into the waters near Bowen Island so she can reproduce

McMaster out, Bolton in as Trump’s national security adviser

President Donald is replacing National security adviser H.R. McMaster with John Bolton

Two killed, dozen hurt in French supermarket hostage-taking

French counterterrorism prosecutors are taking charge of the investigation into the shooting of a police officer in southern France

Canadian women move to No. 4 in FIFA world rankings

Canadian women match all-time high, move back to No. 4 in FIFA world rankings

Supreme Court rules former Stephen Harper aide guilty of influence peddling

A one-time senior aide to former prime minister Stephen Harper has been found guilty of influence peddling by Canada’s highest court.

Annual inflation rate rises to 2.2% for its fastest pace since fall 2014

Statistics Canada says the consumer price index in February was up 2.2 per cent compared with a year ago

B.C. drug smuggler pleads guilty in U.S. court

Shuswap man admits to using helicopters to transport marijuana and cocaine across the border

Pipeline project protest planned

Two dozen people to gather at MP Mel Arnold’s Vernon office Friday afternoon

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Most Read