A water quality advisory has been issued for the City of West Kelowna’s Lakeview System, effective immediately and until further notice, due to increased turbidity and algae in the Rose Valley Reservoir and Lakeview water supply system.
During the advisory, the City of West Kelowna and Interior Health Authority recommend vulnerable people such as children, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems use water brought to a rolling boil for at least one minute, or that an alternate, safe source be used, according to the City of West Kelowna.
While the advisory is in effect, use boiled water or an alternate, safe source of water for: drinking, brushing teeth, washing fruits and vegetables that are to be eaten raw, preparing food, mixing baby formula and making ice, said the city.
The city is making free bulk water available at a filling station at the corner of Shannon Lake Road and Asquith Road. The tap is located on the Asquith Road side of the facility. People need to bring their own clean containers.
The water quality advisory affects approximately 4,000 connections (11,000 customers) including schools, daycares, care homes and restaurants in Lakeview Heights, Rose Valley, Boucherie Centre, Shannon Woods, Tallus Ridge, Shannon Lake and the West Kelowna Business Park.
The city has provided an interactive map on its homepage under ‘News’ at www.westkelownacity.ca to help people determine if they’re in the affected area.
Residents living in the Westbank, West Kelowna Estates, Pritchard and Sunnyside Water Systems are not affected. Neighbourhoods not affected by the water quality advisory include: Glenrosa, Westbank, Smith Creek, Gellatly, Green Bay, South Boucherie/Mission Hill/Sunnyside, Pritchard Drive/Jennings and Hitchner Roads, West Kelowna Estates/Bear Creek, Casa Loma and areas of Westside Road within the municipal boundary.
High concentrations of algae have begun breaking down in Rose Valley reservoir resulting in above normal levels of turbidity. The citt has been able to control the algae and siphon and aerate the water for several weeks; but persistent hot, dry weather has caused the algae to grow exponentially, resulting in increased turbidity.
As turbidity increases, bacteria, viruses and microorganisms can attach themselves to the suspended particles in water. These particles can interfere with disinfection by shielding the microorganisms from chlorine – currently the only source of treatment for water coming from Rose Valley reservoir – requiring a water quality advisory to be issued.
The City of West Kelowna is currently in the process of designing an advanced, $49.4 multi-barrier treatment plant for the Lakeview system; construction is expected to start in the spring. The Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia are contributing 83 per cent of the funding, or $41 million under the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund, toward the construction of the state of the art plant.
City of West Kelowna staff continue to monitor turbidity levels and as soon as they return to an acceptable range, the public will be notified. Customers are encouraged to sign up for email notifications.