The District of Lake Country relies entirely on surface water sources for supply – drawing from Okanagan, Kalamalka, Beaver and Oyama Lakes. Water in the Lake Country distribution system from all four sources is disinfected with chlorine. Which water source your home receives depends on where you live in the community. (Note: private water utilities and wells are not part of the District of Lake Country distribution system)

As a result of recent media coverage regarding water quality, concern has been expressed by Lake Country residents about the level of THMs in the water supply.

Here are some facts:

  • Trihalomethanes (THMs) are the result of a reaction between the chlorine used for disinfecting drinking water and the natural organic matter in the water;
  • At elevated levels, THMs have been listed as a possible carcinogen; and
  • Beaver Lake and Oyama Lake water are the sources with the higher levels of THMs observed particularly during the spring seasonal freshet period.
  • For more information related to THM’s please see “Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality: Guideline Technical Document – Trihalomethanes” 

One of the most important pieces of work that was developed as a road map to improved water quality is the Lake Country Water Master Plan which identifies strategically staged initiatives. As a result of having a Water Master Plan, the District of Lake Country has been able to access federal grant funding and has taken consistent action on phased water infrastructure projects.

As per the District’s Water Master Plan, over the past eight years the District has made significant investments in improving the water quality to the Beaver Lake and Oyama Lake source water by constructing pumping facilities that pump Okanagan Lake or Kalamalka Lake water into the Beaver Lake and Oyama Lake distribution during times when water quality is poor. The next water quality improvement project is to construct a water treatment facility which will keep THMs in the distribution systems low throughout the year.  The recent media coverage and resident concerns continues to highlight the need for a water treatment plant in Lake Country.

Until a water treatment facility is constructed:

  • the District will continue to follow the established Water Quality Monitoring and Report Plan through the Interior Health Authority following the criteria set by the Province for monitoring and delivery of safe drinking water;
  • the District will continue to supplement the water from Beaver Lake and Oyama Lake sources as much as possible with water from the other sources that do not show elevated levels of THMs; and
  • residents with health concerns are encouraged to explore using an in-home system to mitigate THMs in their drinking water. The easiest way to reduce or eliminate THMs in drinking water is to use a water pitcher with a carbon filter or install a tap-mounted carbon filter proven to remove THMs from drinking water.