Water Contamination

Sorrento’s water system is routinely under Boil Water Advisory in the Spring freshet. The water intake is located near the mouth of Newsome Creek which deposits large amounts of silts eroding off the watershed. At the mouth of Newsome Creek a large delta of mud has accumulated over the past few years. The Markwart intake is located nearby, to the east. The currents in the lake ‘swirl’ out from the shore creating a large gentle eddy which pulls the sediment into the intake area.

The following Boil Water Advisories were issued the Columbia Shuswap Regional District in 2017 and 2018;

Boil Water Notice – Sorrento Water System
Tuesday, May 1, 2018

High Turbidity levels have been detected in the Sorrento Water System’s drinking water supply. High turbidity (cloudiness) levels may occur in surface water sources due to seasonal weather changes causing excessive surface runoff, flooding or lake turnover. A high turbidity level may impair the effectiveness of the disinfection treatment system. If disinfection is impaired, disease-causing micro-organisms may escape into the water distribution system, resulting in an increase risk of intestinal illness…

Boil Water Advisory – Sorrento Water System
Sunday, May 7, 2017
12:00 PM

High Turbidity levels have been detected in the Sorrento Water System’s drinking water supply. High turbidity (cloudiness) levels may occur in surface water sources due to seasonal weather changes causing excessive surface runoff, flooding or lake turnover. A high turbidity level may impair the effectiveness of the disinfection treatment system. If disinfection is impaired, disease-causing micro-organisms may escape into the water distribution system, resulting in an increase risk of intestinal illness…

The 2017 Boil Water Advisory lasted approximately six weeks (rescinded Tuesday, June 13, 2017) and occurred at the same time the culvert at Highway 1 crossing clogged. A report done by Kerr Wood Leidal in May 2017 states;

It appears a large block of material on the left bank (looking downstream), immediately downstream of the Highway 1 culvert outlet, fell into the channel, most likely the result of toe erosion due to high flow in Newsome Creek. The material appears to have temporarily dammed the creek, backing up the water and subsequently releasing, causing a flood wave to propagate down the channel. The destabilization includes channel migration fully contained within the ravine, significant erosion, bank sloughing, and vegetation loss.

Looking downstream from outlet of Highway 1 culvert. Left bank has eroded and fallen into the creek. Vertical slope is up to about 8 m high.
Looking downstream from outlet of Highway 1 culvert. Left bank has eroded and fallen into the creek. Vertical slope is up to about 8 m high.

For more information see; Site Observations on page 2 of the KWL Report.

It is clear that the undersized culverts along Newsome Creek are contributing to contamination of our water supply. These culverts are not able to handle the water coming off the watershed. They get clogged and cause water surges. They bottle neck the water which accelerates the speed of the creek, which increases erosion and turbidity.

Are You Effected?

Click the map to view a PDF of the Sorrento Waterworks Service Area.

Sorrento Water Service Area