Willowbrook water woes not coming from Twin Lakes

Chair of Twin Lakes area improvement district says pumping of water has not begun yet

Flooding downstream, including in Willowbrook, isn’t because of pumping at Twin Lakes, said the chairperson for the group that oversees water levels in the area.

Coral Brown, chairperson of the Lower Nipit Improvement District said water has not been pumped from Twin Lakes this year as the pump is out being serviced.

“The pump got filled with stuff, debris. It was clogged, so we hauled it out late last fall and took it in to be fixed. They had to order parts,” she said. “We are not to blame for anything that’s headed downstream.”

She’s heard from several people from the Oliver area that Twin Lakes is to blame for flooding in Willowbrook.

“I just want to get it out there that we haven’t done any pumping and that we’re not to blame for what’s going on there,” she said.

Brown said she got the call Tuesday the pump is ready, but with snow and ice still on the lake it’ll be a bit of time before it’s hooked back up.

The improvement district does have permission from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resources to start pumping, but at this point there’s no immediate plan to do so.

“We do have permission now but it’s always on the condition that we don’t aggravate any flooding downstream. I think we’re a little afraid to do anything so we’re staying still at the moment and hoping for a slow melt, which it’s been doing. The cold nights have been good.”

Brown said most likely some pumping will need to be done at some point if this year is anything like last.

RELATED: OHA players lend a lot of hands

“Thirteen vertical feet of water came into the lake last year. That’s a lot of water. We have to do something, but at this point we aren’t doing anything,” she said.

Brown said the issue is there is nowhere to store the water that doesn’t impact structures and property. She noted wetlands could be developed in the area to accommodate the excess water in wet years.

Ongoing issues trying to maintain water levels has prompted some residents to start considering whether there should be a Lower Nipit Improvement District or if staff at the Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen would be better suited for the job.

Brown said the volunteer board’s role is to watch over lake levels and take care of water stewardship in the area. There are 70 properties in the Lower Nipit Improvement District and the majority would need to approve of creating a regional service area for the move to go forward.

“There’s just so many rules and regulations now and we just can’t keep up. We don’t have the tools or the resources to do what’s necessary here. Volunteers don’t have the tools or the resources to mitigate the drought and flood situation in the area and downstream,” she said.

Tom Siddon, regional director for the area said he supports the group folding and lake levels being managed by staff at the regional district.

“I think it’s probably time. There have been recent issues,” he said. “Last year the ministry didn’t allow them to release water till early April and it was way more than they could handle. There’s issues of liability, holding back water or realizing too much and flooding other people’s properties. It’s beyond their capability and mandate.”

The improvement district is in the process of discussing the change with its members and if there is an informal agreement an approval process to setup a service area will be devised.

Just Posted

Emergency animal rescue team in place for Summerland area

Training for new volunteer members is scheduled for March 30 in Osoyoos and April2 7 in Peachland

EDITORIAL: The quest to assign blame

Instead of sympathy, some have worked to distance themselves from these attacks or to assign blame.

Summerland to hold Seedy Saturday event

Seeds, bedding plants and information from master gardeners will be available

Reality show filming in South Okanagan is looking for participants

A real estate reality show is looking for homeowners and realtors to participate

Sedin twins, NHL ref among 2019 BC Hockey Hall of Fame inductees

Former Vancouver Canucks players Henrik and Daniel Sedin will be inducted this summer in Penticton

Video: Cycling for seniors joy in the South Okanagan

A new chapter of an organization bringing enjoyment to seniors in the outdoors is now in Penticton

Horvat scores 16 seconds into OT as Canucks beat Blackhawks 3-2

Pettersson sets rookie scoring record for Vancouver

No injuries, pollution in Vancouver Harbour ship collision: Transport Canada

Transportation Safety Board says it has deployed a team of investigators look into the incident

Budget 2019: Five things to watch for in the Liberals’ final fiscal blueprint

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will release the Trudeau government’s final budget on Tuesday

New concussion guidelines launched for Canada’s Olympians, Paralympians

The guidelines will be in effect at this summer’s Pan American, Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru

Kelowna DJs organize own shows to fill gap in music scene

The DJs wanted to create somewhere people could enjoy their music safely

In Photos: Classic snowmobiles pushed to their limits in fun races

The Burner in Malakwa served as the venue for races show cases older sleds

Alphonso Davies doubtful for Canada game against French Guiana in Vancouver

Canada will be without injured captain Scott Arfield and veteran Will Johnson

Most Read