A popular neighbourhood pond on Hall Road is drying up again, just a little over a month after the Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO) pumped water into it.
The pond is a western painted turtle habitat and residents brought their concerns to the RDCO, which pumped water into the pond to help the turtles and other fish along.
But because it doesn’t have its own water source, the pond is drying up again. Director of the RDCO’s parks services department Murray Kopp said the water naturally started to seep into the ground again but because it can’t replenish its own levels, the water just keeps going down.
“It’s functioning as best it can, given the situation we’ve got around trying to resolve by providing water to the pond,” Kopp said.
“Staff have been trying to get a well in place and up and running, and we’re partway through that journey. We’ve got that well drilled and we’re now trying to work with FortisBC to try and get electrical servicing into that well so that we can operate the pump that we’re ready to put in place. But all of that is taking a bit of time, so in the meantime, there’s no source of natural water that’s feeding the pond.”
He said that earlier on Friday, July 3, he and other staff went to the pond to pump some water into it to top up the low levels.
The pond on Hall Road is located towards the back end of Mission Creek Regional Park, at a higher elevation in an older part of the park. Kopp said it’s one of several artificial ponds made by the board of directors that previously managed the area, which is why there’s no natural water source.
“The pond has always been fed through a human-made system. Recently, what’s occurred is that those systems have been modified by the City of Kelowna. As a result, the pump system that was operating in the area for decades has been adjusted and changed, and that’s led to the decline of the flow that used to come into the pond. So now, we’re trying to remedy that.”
Currently, Kopp said it’s just a matter of waiting for FortisBC to help the regional district in getting the pump operational.
“We’re working with some local biologists who advised us that the turtles and the marine life in the pond will adapt to lower water levels. That’s our understanding. We’re not interested in seeing any of the marine life decline or experience other detrimental effects, but we’re doing our very best to be reasonable about using taxpayer money to remedy the situation.”