Osoyoos rejects request for sewer extension

Osoyoos council was shocked and appalled at a letter they received from Willow Beach Development asking for the town to increase the amount of units it will service from 40 to 600.

Osoyoos council was shocked and appalled at a letter they received from Willow Beach Development asking for the town to increase the amount of units it will service from 40 to 600.

“I am actually appalled that we got this letter, but I can believe anything these days,” said Coun. Michael Ryan. “This would contribute to sprawl outside our borders. We just completed a regional growth plan that is in direct opposition to this request. We have repeatedly decided that we are concerned about the health of the lake and we have very, very carefully doled out the connections for this line and it is preposterous to even ask for us to consider this.”

A maximum of 40 residential units at Willow Beach Development is currently planned for servicing as an extension to the northwest sewer project. A request from Ankenman Marchand Architects came to the town asking permission to engage a consulting company to complete a costing of upsizing and replacing the pipe currently planned for the northwest sewer project to enable the capacity of the line to accommodate an additional 600 units of development at Willow Beach. About 350 of those units are either mobile homes or RVs. The letter states it would have far less servicing requirement than single family homes or condominiums.

“I would like to move that we inform the developer that the town is not interested in changing the current northwest sewer project to accommodate the additional capacity from the proposed development. Also the town is not interested in exploring the provision of water to a site that doesn’t have a sewer system that council feels adequately addresses the health of the lake,” said Ryan, whose motion was unanimously endorsed by council.

Mayor Stu Wells said increasing the sewer project to accommodate 600 more units is, “crazy.”

“We can’t be giving away any more capacity in our current lagoon system, we’re at full tilt,” said Wells. “I would be dead against those 600 units going into that lagoon.”

Wells said there is also a concern of putting tertiary treatments into Osoyoos Lake or the Okanagan River Channel. Already he has opposed the effluent that would be put into the Okanagan River Channel from the Okanagan Falls sewer project and lobbied the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen board with his concerns over phosphates in the water. Area D director Bill Schwarz arranged for the engineering firm to explain the process to the board and received approval on the adoption bylaw to build the sewer project.

“I think we are in a real tough situation here. The solution would be if (Willow Beach) went into the second system up by the landfill and get the stuff out of the lake,” said Wells.

Coun. Michael Wells said they have to use every opportunity that they have to “leverage all they can muster with the water board and regional district to emphasize that things must be done properly.”