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Posted on: August 25, 2016

Council Highlights

Council Meeting
August 23, 2016

Presentation to S.Sgt. Duncan Dixon

On behalf of Council, Mayor Doug Findlater presented S.Sgt. Duncan Dixon with a token of appreciation for his years of service to the City of West Kelowna as head of the West Kelowna RCMP Detachment. Dixon has accepted a posting with the RCMP Southeast District office, but will remain a West Kelowna resident.

Strategic Plan 2016-2018, Second Quarter Update

Council was provided an update on progress made on items indicated in Council’s 2016-2018 Strategic Plan during the second quarter. The 2016 strategic priority categories are Community Enhancement, Efficient Municipal Operations, Economic Development and Safety and Security.

Water Quality Update

Council was provided an update on water quality in the Lakeview Water System, currently under a Water Quality Advisory, first issued August 4 due to increased turbidity. Turbidity occurs when fine suspended particles of clay, silt, organic and inorganic matter, plankton and other microscopic organisms are picked up by water as it passes through a watershed. Turbidity is measured in nephelometric turbidity units (NTU). Turbidity guidelines are nationally established standards and are as follows:

  • Good (Less than 1 NTU) - No water restrictions are recommended.
  • Fair (1 - 5 NTU) - lt is recommended that children, the elderly, people with compromised immune systems, and anyone seeking additional protection, use water that is brought to a running boil for one minute, or a safe alternative.
  • Poor (> 5 NTU) - lt is recommended that all users bring water to a running boil for one minute, or use a safe alternative.

The Lakeview Water System is experiencing a turbidity level of 1.3 NTU. Turbidity is an indicator of health risk. 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 the chlorine. The risk of gastrointestinal illness increases - particularly for at risk populations such as newborns, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems. When turbidity levels range from 1 – 5 NTU, lnterior Health and water suppliers recommend these at risk populations boil their water for an extra level of protection. The majority of water suppliers in B.C.'s interior draw water from surface sources and exhibit some level of seasonal turbidity. Removing turbidity requires filtration which the Water Master Plan currently plans for in 2022 with the construction of a water treatment plant at the Rose Valley Reservoir. Monitoring of the turbidity level in the system conducted since 1980 indicates this increased turbidity is a very rare event. The only other time that NTU > 1 was experienced was in 2008. The common factors between 2008 and 2016 include stormy, windy weather that affects reservoir mixing in shallows and the inflowing Bear Creek water quality, high reservoir water levels which floods meadows, and connected swamps at the north end of the reservoir. Weather plays a key role in creating summer turbidity through algae blooms in Rose Valley Reservoir. The early hot weather in the spring of 2016 and subsequent wet, unstable weather in June and July created unusually large algae blooms. The shallows in Rose Valley Reservoir mix and add nutrients to the water. The problem is further compounded by the storm flushes through Bear Creek that create mini - freshets. The organic material from the early blooms is settling into deeper water and affecting turbidity at this time. Staff are taking measures to lower the reservoir level and remove water from the bottom of the reservoir where higher turbidity exists. Turbidity levels are constantly being observed by City of West Kelowna staff, through a remote monitoring system.

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