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OSOYOOS, BC: TWINNING TO END ANNUAL BWAS
By Gillian Ward
Photo Credit: Destination Osoyoos, provided by Jared Brounstein
“The Town of Osoyoos issued a boil water notice for Domestic Water Customers served by Rural Water Systems 8 & 9 effective April 1, 2020 until further notice,” states the Town website.
A thriving resort community in the south Okanagan valley, Osoyoos, BC sits at the intersection of two major traffic routes, a piece of heaven with the ideal climate and geography for wine making and tourism.
According to the Town website, the area hosts 350 thousand visitors annually (pre-Covid 19) and takes in close to 60 million annually in tourism income, a large part of which is associated with the vineyards here.
Each spring, the Town switches its rural customers from a potable well water source to surface water source, Osoyoos Lake, to provide for the higher flow rates of the irrigation season.
WaterToday learned that the lake water is treated by chlorination, however, the bacterial, viral and microbial contaminants of lake water must be removed by boiling, to ensure the water is safe for consumption. Water users on rural systems 8 and 9 are reminded to boil water used for drinking, for washing fruit and vegetables and for brushing teeth.
The good news for rural customers: annual boil water advisories are on their way out.
Casey Brouwer is the Operations Services Clerk for the Town of Osoyoos. He explains that the Town is working to “twin” the rural water delivery system, meaning two pipes will serve each rural customer, one with potable well water piped to the residence, the other line supplying non-potable lake water for irrigation purposes.
According to Brouwer, twinning projects are underway presently, with contractor Grizzly Excavating (Penticton) working on Contract 1 of Route 9.
The Town Water supply does not require boiling at this time.
Customers are welcome to consult the Osoyoos Town website for more information on the progress of the twinning projects.
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