The latest on beach water quality at the north end of Okanagan Lake
Charlotte Helston - Reporter
Image Credit: Okanagan Indian Band
August 04, 2017 - 2:30 PM
VERNON - Water testing has come back within acceptable levels for Kin and Sandy Beaches at the north end of Okanagan Lake in Vernon, but officials haven’t exactly given the all clear just yet.
The City of Vernon and the Okanagan Indian Band put out a joint press release in advance of the B.C. Day long weekend, stating that water testing was recently conducted at Kin Beach and Sandy Beach.
“Bacteriological testing by both the First Nations Health Authority and Interior Health have returned within acceptable levels, in spite of the presence of a naturally occurring algae bloom,” the Okanagan Indian Band says in the media release. “Recreational water users are reminded that the water quality testing does not check for other toxins or chemicals.”
Officials are warning beach users that the root systems of lakeshore trees have been compromised by flooding, making them unstable. Caution should be used near these trees until crews have assessed and taken steps to limit risk to the public.
While the latest water tests returned with acceptable levels of bacteria for both beaches, the City and Okanagan Indian Band governments are requesting that residents and visitors stay off Sandy Beach until the flood protection measures and other identified potential safety hazards have been removed, according to the release.
“The safety of people in our community is so important. We want to ensure that everyone has the information to make good choices in where they access the lake over the rest of the summer,” band chief Byron Louis says.
Vernon mayor Akbal Mund echoed Louis' statement.
“We want to encourage residents and visitors to enjoy our beaches over the long weekend while being safe and respectful of our neighbours,” Mund says in the release.
Warning signs remain posted to deter people from climbing over flood protection measures, including gabion baskets, until they can be removed.
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