Greater Vernon Water - Water Source Change

Posted Saturday, October 24, 2020

The Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO) wishes to inform customers of Greater Vernon Water (GVW) that the Kalamalka Lake water source is being turned off tomorrow, October 25, 2020 due to an increase in algae in Kalamalka Lake. The switch to the Duteau Creek source will begin in the afternoon of October 24 2020 with the source ultimately being turned off the following day.

The decision to remove the Kalamalka Lake water source is based on unusually high numbers of algae within Kalamalka Lake. Customers on the Kalamalka Lake source may have noticed a difference in the taste and smell of the water. Algae levels are not exceeding a level that poses a health risk, but the RDNO is switching water sources out of an abundance of caution. While the cause of the increase in algae is unknown, it is believed that previous flooding and unusual weather patterns this year likely played a role.

Boiling water is NOT an effective or recommended action when algae is present. Again, algae is not at a level where health risks are a concern, but customers can choose to use in house filtration systems, such as Brita filters, while the source switch is taking place. Customers should start to notice improved water quality soon.

These algae blooms are part of the reason GVW is actively seeking filtration on the Kalamalka Lake source. Currently, different forms of filtration are being tested for the Mission Hill Water Treatment Plant Pilot Study.

Customers who are not normally on the Duteau Creek source will notice that the water is much softer and has a low alkalinity and pH. This may be of interest to those customers who have in-home water treatment systems or aquariums.

Staff will continue to monitor water quality, notify customers of any further changes and when the Kalamalka Lake water source is turned back on.