Letter: Kelowna needs to care about the turtle ponds

Kelowna needs to care about the turtle ponds

To the editor:

Saving Munson’s Pond is a must for what wildlife is left in the Okanagan Valley. So, let’s now talk of more ponds: the Hasket Ponds of East Kelowna can be viewed at 3161 Hall Road (what is left of about 12 ponds that were refuges for such diverse wildlife as water birds in transit and painted turtles by the hundreds). These 12 ponds were man made by the over flow of SEKID irrigation systems.

SEKID would spill water into the ponds to sustain their flow so water quality could be sustained. So, what has changed? SEKID does not sustain these 12 ponds anymore. Where does SEKID now dump their water? It is dumped into a single pond on Hall Road across from the large nursing home on Hall Road. The SEKID water spill into this small pond (fishing pond for children) keeping the pond from showing signs of the septic water from the nursing home seeping across under Hall Road.

There is about 200 liter per minute of SEKID water spilled into this little pond and this eventually flows into Mission Creek along with the seepage of septic effluent from the nursing home. This nursing home has grown very large over the last 40 years due to demand for the elderly. Washing clothes, linen, patients, and dishes etc. puts a large strain on the septic systems of the home.

The painted turtles along with the fish, are almost extinct in Hasket Ponds but SEKID (now controlled by the city of Kelowna) still keeps the little pond full over the future loss of Hasket Ponds. Hasket Ponds were trout rearing ponds about 60 years ago and full of wildlife. School children by the bus loads have memories of visiting Hasket Ponds to view the wildlife up close, but no more. SEKID has been approached but they don’t care so let the wildlife disappear and what have we left, a little pond across from the nursing home. So, who cares now, does the City of Kelowna?

Jorgen Hansen

Kelowna

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