Algae prompts water source switch in North Okanagan

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North Okanagan residents who normally get their water from the Kalamalka Lake water source are being informed that a switch is being made to the Duteau Creek source.

The Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO) stated the Kalamalka Lake water source is being turned off on Oct. 25 due to an increase in algae in Kalamalka Lake.

The RDNO said the decision to remove the Kalamalka Lake water source is based on unusually high numbers of algae within Kalamalka Lake.

Read more: Large algal bloom in Shuswap Lake being monitored, says Interior Health

The RDNO said algae levels are not exceeding a level that poses a health risk, but the switch in water sources is being made out of an abundance of caution.

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According to the RDNO, Greater Vernon Water customers may have noticed a difference in taste and smell of the water due to the algae.

Customers should start to notice improved water quality soon, that includes water being softer and with low alkalinity and pH.

In the meantime, people can choose to use in house filtration systems, such as Brita filters, while the source switch is taking place.

Read more: Alberta family sends out water warning after pet dies from suspected blue-green algae exposure

The RDNO said boiling water is not an effective or recommended action when algae is present.

The cause of the increase in algae is unknown, but it’s believed that previous flooding and unusual weather patterns this year likely played a role.

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Residents will be notified when the Kalamalka Lake water source is turned back on.

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