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

Penticton boundary extension official

City boundaries expanded to edge of Skaha Bluffs Provincial park

Police and GSAR search river near Hedley

Princeton RCMP and ground search and rescue crews are at the Similkameen… Continue reading

Extreme fire danger in the Okanagan-Shuswap

The fire danger rating hits extreme or high in areas of the Okanagan- Shuswap

Heat warning issued for Central, South Okanagan

Environment Canada expects temperatures to exceed 35 degrees Celsius today

Three Days Grace to perform in Penticton

Internationally acclaimed Three Days Grace to perform in the South Okanagan

Course veterans seize victory in Peach City Classic

The first place titles in this year’s triathlon belonged to returning competitors.

PHOTO: Incredible sight Sunday night

It’s the new moon in conjunction with the planet Venus

B.C. baseball team offers funeral prize pack

Wednesday’s West Coast League game in Victoria features draw for end-of-life package

Black Press Media journalists win big at Canadian community newspaper awards

Newsrooms earn recognition for editorial and photography excellence

Riptide, CVUSC paved the way for varsity soccer players

Chloe Gummer has become a leader at VIU

B.C. woman disappointed after family asked for ID at townhouse complex pool

Surrey woman says it’s not the first time she has experienced racial profiling at the complex

Park pipeline protesters say arrest is a ‘declaration of war’

Group behind North Thompson River Provincial Park occupation protest says arrest is ‘declaration of war’

A day of deals at Amazon, and at its rivals

Online retail giant extends annual ‘Prime Day’ promotion to 36 hours

Alert B.C. campers raise alarm and avert potential propane disaster

Salmon Arm camper lodges a complaint with Technical Safety BC after motorhome tank is over-filled.

Most Read