City of Vernon investigating own role in land slide - InfoNews

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City of Vernon investigating own role in land slide

Mud slid onto Okanagan Landing Road near Longacre Drive Nov. 6 and caused $20,000 in road damages.
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November 26, 2013 - 10:26 AM

VERNON - It’s possible a land slide earlier this month was caused by the city’s irrigation system.

It’s something city staff are investigating after mud slid onto Okanagan Avenue Nov. 6, close to where the city releases treated effluent as part of its spray irrigation program. The slide closed the road between Longacre Drive and Fulton Road for over two weeks and cost $20,000 in road and ditch repairs.

“There is a lot of water coming off that hillside,” operation services manager Shirley Koenig said at a council meeting Monday. “Whether it’s spray irrigation or not, it hasn’t been determined exactly what it is.”

Koenig said there have been issues in that area before, but noted previous studies have exonerated the city. She also pointed out the mud slide happened a month after the spray irrigation was turned off.

The results of a preliminary geotechnical study pinpointed high groundwater and insufficient bank stability as factors.

“The question is, is that a result of our spray irrigation?” Coun. Brian Quiring said.

A geotechnical engineer will continue to investigate what role the irrigation system may have played in the slide, if any.

“Definitely causes me some concern, I think that needs to be watched,” Quiring said. “I’m a little surprised with what happened there.... It’s just been this one incident of the slide (this year), but certainly it needs to be investigated.”

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at, call (250)309-5230 or tweet @charhelston.

News from © iNFOnews, 2013

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