New study raises concerns about water quality issues and the growing proliferation of recreational boating on Kalamalka and Wood lakes. -Image Credit: Contributed

Water quality at risk

Study: Growing powerboat pressure on Kalamalka Lake raises environmental concerns

A boat impact study on Kalamalka and Wood lakes’ water quality raises environmental concerns but stops short of recommending boating access limitations.

The impact study, prepared by Ecoscape Environmental Consultants, suggests options to mitigate negative powerboat impacts such as warning signage and creating no-wake zones. It also suggests designated commuter corridors to reduce water quality risks to drinking water intakes and sediment dispersal harm to shallow or littoral zones of less than six metres depth.

The study found that some areas around Kalamalka Lake, with the largest domestic intake capacities, may be exceeding boating capacity during the high-use summer season, particularly on weekends.

The key areas of concern for powerboat overcrowding occur in the shallower north and south ends of Kalamalka Lake and along the north section of Wood Lake near the Oyama Canal.

In these sensitive areas, the study found, sediment bacterial, hydrocarbon and metal contaminants that exceed water quality guidelines were detected.

The contaminants were sourced both to being released during sediment disruption and from chemical spills, most frequently occurring during boat refueling, cleaning or disposal of wastes.

The report was discussed in its draft stage at a regional water stewardship committee meeting last month and comes before Lake Country councillors for further discussion at Tuesday’s council meeting.

The study was done for the Okanagan Collaborative Conservation Program with the support of Lake Country, Coldstream, Central and North Okanagan regional districts, Okanagan Basin Water Board, and the Okanagan and Similkameen Invasive Species Society.

Lake Country district planner Paul Dupuis has recommended that council direct staff to work on an implementation committee to devise strategies to create a “balanced and meaningful approach to source water protection while understanding that recreation marine activity is an important water use within the region.”

Just Posted

Reel Reviews: Fear or love

We say, “Once again, one worth seeing, one not.”

Two people safe after falling through ice

Kelowna Fire Department urges caution around icy waters during warm weather

Missing Kelowna woman sought

RCMP are asking for assistance in locating Christine Olsen-Meissnitzer

Plane lands safely after takeoff issue

An airplane departing Kelowna International Airport had an issue with a landing gear, landed safely

KSS rocks and rolls for 37th straight year

Kelowna secondary students let loose with annual Air Bank competition

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Anti-pipeline protestors block Kinder Morgan tanker near Seattle

Protest was spurred on by the 28 anti-Kinder Morgan activists arrested in Burnaby

Captain Cal Foote is Rockets’ MVP

The Rockets hand out their annual team awards Sunday at Kelowna Community Theatre

Some surprises in new book about B.C. labour movement

“On the Line” charts history of the union movement back to the 1800s

Cancer fundraiser takes to Okanagan Lake

Penticton and Naramata joining growing fundraising event

Elke’s Garden Tips: Good time to prepare

Lake Country garden columnist talks about what to do at this time of the year

Letter: Crying fowl over goose cull witness

Kelowna letter-writer says Canada geese come with many issues

Letter: I was born in Kelowna in 1930…

Kelowna letter-writer has some ideas on how things should run nowadays

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