No mystery to orange rocks on Kelowna beach

As suspected, Mother Nature is the reason for the orange tinge to a local beach

Turns out the rocks along a stretch of Cedar Creek Park have taken on an orange tinge for perfectly natural reasons.

A spokesperson from the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy said the reddish-orange colour appearing on the rocks is a result of iron bacteria.

This type of iron bacteria precipitate happens frequently in the shallow water areas of local lakes.

As for the slimy film on the water around the rocks, that’s also a byproduct of nature and the life cycle of plants.

“Sometimes there is also blue-green oil like streaking around the red precipitate that people assume is oil or gas dumped in the environment,” said the spokesperson. “Most of the time it’s not, the streaks are actually natural oils from decaying plant material. The key observation is odour, or in this case, no odour (i.e. there is no gas odour present).”

It’s all noticeable because lake levels begin to drop this time of year and the snow melts off the foreshore, exposing the beaches.

READ MORE: HIGH FLOOD RISK

The reason for this year’s particularly low lake level is last year’s flooding.

“We’ve been dropping the lake by half-a-centimetre per day,” Shaun Reimer, section head for public safety and protection with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.

“What we’ve been doing is really trying to hit those target levels. We’ve been manipulating the flow to continue to ensure that happens.”

Currently, Okanagan Lake is 40 centimetres lower than this time last year, Reimer said.

At the same time, the snowpack is at record levels.

“The Okanagan is at 152 per cent. It’s the highest of any basing alongside the Similkameen,” said Jonathan Boyd, River Forecast Centre hydrologist.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaNewsKat
kmichaels@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Crews continuing to clear rock north of Summerland

Site has had no movement for the past eight days

Poll: How do you feel about the Trans Mountain Pipeline

The National Energy Board has come out with continued support of the pipeline

‘Incredible’ show to close out 2019 Penticton Peach Festival

New Jersey Jukebox: Tribute to the Jersey Boys and Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons to perform

Alleged Okanagan sex offender arrested in P.E.I.

Offences occurred while Ivan Glen Winchester was living in Summerland between 2006 and 2010

Music Rundown: Who you should be watching play live this week

Fill your calendar this week with these great shows

Girl heard saying ‘Help my Dad’ in suspicious radio message on Vancouver Island

Police asking for help following mysterious signals from somewhere between Comox and Sayward

Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

No treatment for highly infectious measles, says doctor

10 cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver as of Friday

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

No gas in Okanagan town as lone station closed for renovations

Falkland’s Petro Canada will remain closed for renovations until March 1

Shuswap facility adds 60 long-term care beds

Mount Ida Mews hosts grand opening of second phase in Salmon Arm

UPDATE: One dead after crash on Highway 97A near Armstrong

Police have confirmed that one person is dead following an accident on Highway 97A Friday

Most Read