In collaboration with the District of Lake Country, the developer of the Lakestone community is taking an innovative approach to storm water management in the new Benchlands neighbourhood with the goal of protecting sensitive natural areas and avoiding hillside scaring in Okanagan Centre.

Site development along Tyndall Road for the Benchlands neighbourhood has been ongoing through 2016. As part of the storm water management plan for the Benchlands, a portion of the storm water collected in the subdivision will be piped down the hill westward towards Okanagan Lake to an area adjacent to Okanagan Centre Road West. To install the 30mm (12") pipe in the hillside, a directional drilling project will begin in March 2017.

Installing the 350 meter underground pipe will require the longest directional drilling project in the history of Lake Country.

Sections of 300 mm diameter high density polyethylene pipe will be fused together into a single length of pipe. It will then be floated onto Okanagan Lake and once the drilling is completed, the pipe will be pulled up the slope through the hillside to the Benchlands neighbourhood. The use of directional drilling for installing the storm water pipe will avoid disruption of the steep slope area between Tyndall and Okanagan Center Road and direct storm water away from the sensitive hillside area.

For those that want to know more about the technical details: In the Benchlands neighbourhood storm water will be collected in the conventional manner through curbside catch basins and piped through storm mainlines for disposal. The catch basins and manholes associated with the storm mainlines have sumps to remove sediments and some impurities. The directional drilling for the storm mainline installation will minimize hillside scarring to bring the storm water down to Okanagan Centre Rd. West. The storm water will flow into perforated pipe bedded in granular material. The water will infiltrate through the native sands and gravel which will act as a slow sand filter before entering Okanagan Lake as ground water. The infiltration pipe is well outside the Riparian Area Regulation zone. Storm water will not be discharged directly into Okanagan Lake.

In planning for this innovative storm water disposal solution consideration was given to the community intake downstream (south) of the proposed works as well as the many individual property water intakes along Okanagan Centre Rd. West.

The success of this innovative approach will depend on rock and soil composition of the hillside area where the work is taking place. Watch for photos and progress reports as the directional drilling project is undertaken.