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Killiney Beach residents look to address water supply issues

Click to play video: 'Killiney Beach residents express need for mobile generators'
Killiney Beach residents express need for mobile generators
Residents living in the Killiney Beach area of North Westside Road are growing increasingly concerned over firefighting capabilities in the event of a power outage. More than 75 properties were lost in Killiney Beach due to the 2021 White Rock Lake Wildfire. As Ben Low-On reports, the lack of backup generators to power the water system has locals pleading with the regional district to do something about it – Jun 24, 2024

Residents living in the Killiney Beach neighbourhood on North Westside Road are increasingly concerned about their vulnerability to fire, due to memories of the 2021 White Rock Lake wildfire and what they view as infrastructure shortcomings.

“They ran out of water 20 minutes after the power went out,” Michael Dick, an area resident, said about the 2021 wildfire that scorched 75 properties and 83,000 hectares of land.

“So, they couldn’t fight those fires.”

Click to play video: 'North Westside Road dealing with increased creek flow'
North Westside Road dealing with increased creek flow

The issue wasn’t the water supply, in his view. It was power. A backup supply of drinking water was available, and with some power that could have been tapped into. It was not, however.

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Ingrid Bester, an area resident who lost her home, said she thinks it’s a real problem.

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“We have a fire hydrant right on our driveway and we lost our house,” Bester said.

She added later that she would have liked to have seen power generators that sat idly by kick in, so the drinking water supply could have been tapped into.

The district that runs the system has a different view.

“The Killiney Beach water system is a standalone system designed to provide drinking water to a portion of Electoral Area West. The Killiney Beach water system is not designed to fight a large-scale wildfire,” Travis Kendell of the Regional District of Central Okanagan, which oversees the area, said in a statement.

“The report from Urban Systems did not recommend the installation of generators for the Killiney Beach water system. The RDCO and Urban Systems presented these findings to the Board and the Board requested a detailed financial report be compiled to understand additional implications of proceeding with generators.”

Residents say there need to be more backup generators to power the water system and they want the regional district to step up.

 

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