OK Falls sewer plant not responsible for Vaseux Lake water woes, report says | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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OK Falls sewer plant not responsible for Vaseux Lake water woes, report says

A recently released report on Vaseux Lake water quality indicates the Okanagan Falls water treatment plant is not to blame for changes in the lake's water quality.
February 19, 2019 - 1:37 PM

PENTICTON - The Okanagan Falls Wastewater treatment plant is not contributing to increased nutrients in Vaseux Lake, a recent study has concluded.

Larratt Aquatic conducted a study of Vaseux Lake to determine nutrient sources and identify where increased sedimentation in the lake was coming from for the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen.

The study looked at research conducted from when the wastewater treatment plant was commissioned in 2013 to 2017 and concluded the Okanagan Falls wastewater treatment plant had not impacted the chemistry or biology of the lake.

An increase in ammonia in the lake was attributed to changes in the entire Okanagan Valley watershed after the trend was noted to also occur upstream of the treatment plant.

As much as 90 per cent of the nutrient loading in the shallow lake, comes primarily from Okanagan River inflows.

Vaseux Lake contains prime areas for milfoil growth due to the plant’s preference for water depths of between three to five metres and would probably be crowded with other aquatic plants if the lake had not been invaded with milfoil, the report said.

The report concluded with recommendations to restore Shuttleworth Creek, begin long term plant bed monitoring, and complete a hydrogeological study of the lake, among other things.

The report was commissioned after lakeshore residents began expressing concerns about water quality and a noticeable increase in milfoil in the lake in 2016.

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