UPDATE: Water system passes real-time test during heavy rains

Water system upgrades in recent years have made it easier to respond to heavier than normal rainfalls.

Heavy rain late September tested part of the new Lake Country water treatment system and residents of the Oyama Lake source were protected due to the system’s ability to react to higher than normal levels of bacteria.

About 270 residents who get their water from Oyama Lake were first given a boil water advisory and then a boil water notice over two days last week when several heavy rainfalls resulted in the presence of bacteriological indicator organisms which included e.coli.

Lab test results returned last Wednesday and Thursday showed no bacteria present for two days of testing and by Friday night the boil water notice was lifted.

Once test results found the bacteria, residents were immediately switched off the Oyama Lake source and placed on the Kalamalka water source, avoiding any potential problems.

“We were pleased to be able to lift the boil water notice for the Oyama service area,” said Michael Mercer, director of engineering and operations.

“With the increase in seasonal rains and the scheduled irrigation turn off for the Oyama Lake source (in mid-October) we are confident in the system’s ability to meet the water needs of the area using the UV-treated Kalamalaka Lake source water until the 2014 irrigation demands require the use of the Oyama Lake source water again.”

The district also said water quality monitoring is a routine part of the protocol in place to ensure safe, potable drinking water for the community.

System upgrades in recent years have made it easier to respond to unexpected events such as what occurred in Lake Country this week after numerous heavy rainfalls throughout the Okanagan Valley.

 

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The Boil Water Notice on the Oyama Lake water source has now been downgraded back to a Water Quality Advisory.  Lab test results on water samples taken over the past two days confirmed no bacteria present; and authorization was received from Interior Health to remove the Boil Water Notice.

“We are pleased to be able to lift the Boil Water Notice for the Oyama service area,” said Michael Mercer, Director of Engineering and Operations.  “With the increase in seasonal rains and the scheduled irrigation turn off for the Oyama Lake source October 15-18, we are confident in the system’s ability to meet the water needs of the area using the UV Treated Kalamalaka Lake source water until the 2014 irrigation demands require the use of the Oyama Lake source water again.”

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The District of Lake Country reports that lab test results returned Thursday on water samples taken Wednesday showed no bacteria present in the samples for residents who use the Oyama Lake water source.

However the Boil Water Notice remains in place.

The DLC upgraded from a Water Quality Advisory to a Boil Water Notice on the Oyama Lake water source due to the presence of bacteriological indicator organisms which included e.coli.

“To lift the Boil Water Notice we need two consecutive sets of samples taken 24 hours apart showing no bacteria present and authorization from Interior Health to remove the Notice,” said Michael Mercer, Director of Engineering and Operations.  “We are very encouraged by the anticipated clean test results today.  The Boil Water Notice could be removed as early as Friday evening.”

There are approximately 270 properties in the affected area.

The DLC release stated: “Water quality monitoring is a routine part of the protocol in place to ensure safe, potable drinking water for the community; and system upgrades in recent years have made it easier to respond to unexpected events such as what occurred in Lake Country this week after numerous rain events in the Okanagan.”

With the efficiency of the new integrated water system in Lake Country, water technicians were able to immediately switch the system over to the Kalamalka Lake water source. Kalamalka Lake UV treated high quality water is already through the distribution system for the Oyama Lake source service area.

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Original story:

Lake Country has upgraded from a Water Quality Advisory to a Boil Water Notice on the Oyama Lake water source. Test results returned today on water quality samples taken Sept. 24 showed the presence of bacteriological indicator organisms routinely tested to ensure water is safe and potable – including e.coli.

With the efficiency of the new integrated water system in Lake Country, water technicians were able to immediately switch the system over to the Kalamalka Lake water source. Kalamalka Lake UV treated high quality water is already through the distribution system for the Oyama Lake source service area.

“We are taking this very seriously,” said Michael Mercer, Director of Engineering & Operations. “Due to the numerous rain events in the past week the resulting decrease in water quality has made the chlorine residual a challenge to maintain, so we have been monitoring the water quality frequently and increasing the dosage of chlorine. However, because it takes 24 hours to get test results we feel it is crucial to issue an immediate Boil Water Notice to everyone on the system.”

There are approximately 270 properties in the affected area and sensitive customers on the District’s registry have been notified personally by phone and email.  Regular showering and irrigation should flush the old water from service lines and dead spots; and the treated Kalamalka Lake water is already throughout the system.

“We will continue to closely monitor the water quality and will update our report tomorrow afternoon as soon as the lab results are available from samples collected from key points on the system today,” said Greg Buchholz, Operations Manager. “We urge residents that rely on the Oyama Lake source not to drink any water without boiling it first until otherwise notified; and anyone that is feeling ill should see their doctor immediately.”