The District of Lake Country is taking further action to improve the community’s water quality after residents expressed concern over the level of THMs in their water supply.
Trihalomethanes (THMs) are the result of a reaction between the chlorine used for disinfecting drinking water and the natural organic matter in the water. At elevated levels, THMs have been listed as a possible carcinogen.
The District of Lake Country relies entirely on surface water sources for supply, drawing from Okanagan, Kalamalka, Beaver and Oyama Lakes. The water source a home receives depends on where in the district residents live.
Beaver Lake and Oyama Lake have been identified as the sources with higher levels of THMs observed particularly during the spring seasonal freshet period. To combat the issue, the district has been following a water masterplan which identifies strategically staged initiatives. As a result of having a water masterplan, Lake Country has been able to access federal grant funding and has taken consistent action on phased water infrastructure projects.
Over the past eight years, the district has made significant investments in improving the water quality to the Beaver Lake and Oyama lake source water by constructing pumping facilities that pump Okanagan Lake or Kalamalka Lake water into the Beaver Lake and Oyama Lake distribution during times when water quality is poor.
The next step in improving the water quality is to construct a water treatment facility that will keep THMs in the distribution systems low throughout the year.
Until a water treatment facility is constructed the district will continue to follow the established Water Quality Monitoring and Report Plan via the Interior Health Authority and the criteria set by the province for monitoring and delivery of safe drinking water.
The district will also continue to supplement the water from Beaver Lake and Oyama Lake sources as much as possible with water from the other sources that do not show elevated levels of THMs.
Residents with health concerns are encouraged to explore using an in-home system to mitigate THMs in their drinking water. The easiest way to reduce or eliminate THMs in drinking water is to use a water pitcher with a carbon filter or install a tap-mounted carbon filter proven to remove THMs from drinking water.