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Spooktacular Pumpkin Walk Returns - October 21, 2021

With the latest outdoor public health guidelines, Mission Creek Regional Park is preparing to host a COVID-safe Spooktacular Pumpkin Walk!

Here's how you can once again take part in this free, family-friendly event:

1)    Drop off your carved pumpkin at the EECO on either Friday, October 29, 1 to 4 p.m. or Saturday, October 30, 12 to 3 p.m. (please use an LED light in your jack-o-lantern)

2)    On Saturday, October 30 from 5 to 8 p.m. wear your Halloween costume and tour the paths lit up by jack-o-lanterns.  Vote for your favourites (please bring a flashlight to navigate on dark paths).

Prizes will be awarded for the scariest, most original, cutest, strangest, and funniest carved pumpkins. Winners will be notified on Oct. 31. All pumpkins not picked up at the end of the event will be donated to local farmers to feed chickens and farm animals.

For everyone’s safety and to provide smooth traffic flow in the park, starting at 4:30 p.m. there will be one way traffic in the parking lot.  All vehicles must enter Mission Creek Regional Park at Leckie Road and leave by the Durnin Rd right turn exit onto Springfield Road.  Please keep everyone safe, watch for pedestrians and follow the direction of parking control attendants.

In support of the Central Okanagan Community Food Bank, visitors to the Pumpkin Walk are welcome to drop off a non-perishable food donation.  https://cofoodbank.com/

Please remember for everyone's health and safety, COVID-19 protocols like physical distancing will be in place.

For information on this and other interpretive program and events in Central Okanagan regional parks please visit rdco.com/parksevents.

There are more than 2,100 hectares of parkland available to discover in RDCO parks including 74 kilometres of formal regional park trails for visitors to use while practicing physical distancing.  Find all the locations at rdco.com/pickapark.

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Pumpkins can be recycled - October 20, 2021

Once Halloween is over and you no longer need that jack o lantern for decoration, there are several options to give your pumpkin a whole new life.

The Regional District Waste Reduction Office encourages you to toss your pumpkin in your backyard compost bin for great results come spring.

“Pumpkins are high in nitrogen, making them the perfect material to add to your backyard compost bin,” says Waste Reduction Facilitator Rae Stewart. “If you chop your pumpkin up into small pieces and add some fall leaves, it will break down just that much faster. Next spring you’ll have a great nutrient rich soil amendment to add to your garden or lawn,” says Stewart.

If you don’t compost, you can also put your pumpkin in your curbside yard waste cart for your next pickup. Check your Living Greener Calendar, the Recycle Coach app, or rdco.com/recycle for cart pick-up schedules in your area. A reminder that yard waste collection season runs until the end of December.

And of course, if your pumpkin is still in good condition and free of debris or damage from the elements, consider using it in baking or soup making. Pumpkins when toasted or baked can be rich in potassium and protein.

Another Halloween tip: while the candy wrappers your little ones bring home can’t go into your recycling cart, they can be returned to your nearest recycling depot as part of the flexible packaging recycling program.

For more information on composting, yard waste or recycling collection programs, visit rdco.com/recycle or call the Regional Waste Reduction Office at 250-469-6250.

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Star Place Water Quality Advisory removed - October 20, 2021

After consulting with Interior Health, the Regional District of Central Okanagan has rescinded a Water Quality Advisory for customers of the Star Place water system in the Central Okanagan West Electoral Area.                      

The precautionary advisory has been in place following repair and maintenance work on Thursday, October 14.  Since the work was completed, the system has been flushed and required bacterial tests are negative in accordance with Canadian guidelines for drinking water quality. 

The Regional District provides water service to just over 1,100 connections in six service areas.

For information visit the Regional District website water system webpage (rdco.com/water) or contact RDCO Engineering Services at engineer@rdco.com or 250-469-6241.  To subscribe online for Regional District water quality advisories or alerts by email visit rdco.com/water.

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Visionary, first RDCO employee passes - October 19, 2021

The RDCO Board and staff offer condolences to surviving family and friends of Al Harrison, who passed away recently at the age of 85.

He was the first employee of the Regional District of Central Okanagan and its first Administrator.  Board Chair Gail Given says Al was a visionary and helped create the RDCO and programs, many of which have been emulated elsewhere.  "He was extremely well respected within the province and really had crafted many of the local government services that have been duplicated elsewhere in the Province.  The thoughts and prayers of our Board and our staff are with Al's extended family and friends.".

Harrison was commissioned by the Regional Board to write a historical review to mark the 40th anniversary of the RDCO in 2006.  In it, he wrote about his initial days as the first employee of the RDCO, with an office in an accountant firm in downtown Kelowna and having two apple boxes with files, receiving support from clerical staff in the office.  His biography states:

A.T. (Al) Harrison was born in Merritt, British Columbia, attended schools in Rutland and later settled in Camrose, Alberta. In 1962, he was employed by the County of Camrose as Assistant Secretary-Treasurer. In 1969, Al accepted the position as Administrator for the Regional District of Central Okanagan, becoming the first full time employee of the Regional District and commenced work on April 1st, 1969. Mr. Harrison studied municipal government administration at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, extension department as well as enrolling in related courses at the University of Victoria and the Banff School of Management. Al attained his Senior Certificate of Municipal Administration awarded by the Board of Examiners of the Province of British Columbia and was also awarded the designation of Professional Administrator by the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators in Canada. During his employment with the Regional District, he served as an executive member of the Municipal Officers Association of British Columbia as well as being appointed as a member to the National and Pacific Recreational Boating Advisory Councils to the Canadian Coast Guard. Mr. Harrison retired from the Regional District on February 1st, 1997.

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Business Walk survey of the pulse of Central Okanagan business - October 18, 2021

This is BC Small Business Week and the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission (COEDC) and its community partners want to hear from regional businesses. Central Okanagan businesses are encouraged to complete a short (6 minute) survey to share their experience to date and outlook going forward here: www.investkelowna.com/businesswalk2021/. The 2020 Central Okanagan Business Walk Survey is available through Sunday October 31, 2021.

Since 2012 the COEDC, along with 13 partner organizations from Lake Country, Kelowna, Westbank First Nation, West Kelowna and Peachland, has embarked on a Small Business Walk to capture the pulse of businesses throughout the region. These short visits connect business support agencies to the business community, communicate industry intelligence to multiple civic and business stakeholders and identify opportunities for the COEDC and partners to support local businesses.

Tomorrow (October 19), the COEDC and partner organizations are holding a COVID-safe, hybrid model business walks event. In addition to the online survey, in person door to door visits will be held with businesses in our communities. Following all public health orders, volunteers will be asking businesses questions about employee retention and recruitment, general business challenges, and future strategic plans. 

“As we prepare for Fall and shift into Winter, the COEDC and Partner Organizations are eager to connect with local businesses and provide an avenue for them to share their experience and outlook moving forward. We are focused on moving forward as a region and supporting the needs of our diverse local economy and community.” – Krista Mallory, Manager, Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission

For up to date resources for local businesses, visit the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission at investkelowna.com.

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Highlights from the Regional Board meeting - October 14, 2021

Here is a link to the Board Reports highlights from the Regional Board meeting Thursday morning October 14 including information about a new effort to further indigenous relations, appointments of auditors and members to various advisory commissions and an anticipated new Board Chair.

When available, here's where you will find links to view a recording of the:

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Two international awards for Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission - October 13, 2021

Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission (COEDC) and partners Tourism Kelowna and Accelerate Okanagan won two International Economic Development Council (IEDC) awards for its OKGo Marketing Campaign, including a Gold Rank in the category of Magazine and Newsletter and a Silver Rank in the category of Special Purpose Website.  The honor was presented on October 6 at an awards ceremony during the IEDC Annual Conference in Washington D.C.

“Entrepreneurs in the OKGo campaign’s five industry sectors - Advanced Manufacturing, Aerospace, Agriculture, Viticulture and Digital Tech – are innovating to create jobs, solve big problems and drive economic recovery across the region,” says Krista Mallory, COEDC Manager, “The OKGo Partnership is about working together to leverage the strengths of Tourism Kelowna, Accelerate Okanagan and the COEDC to tell the story of the vibrant and diverse entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Central Okanagan to national and global audiences”

IEDC's Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognize the world's best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and the year's most influential leaders. Award categories honour organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban, and rural communities. Awards are judged by a diverse panel of economic and community developers, following a nomination process held earlier this year. IEDC received over 500 submissions from 4 countries.

The OKGo marketing campaign is a partnership between the COEDC, Tourism Kelowna and Accelerate Okanagan and tells the story of entrepreneurship and innovation in the Central Okanagan through stories of local entrepreneurs. While each partner organization has a unique mandate and individual goals, the project provides the region and all partners with a cohesive regional story that can be shared and leveraged through each partner’s individual networks to further the impact and reach of the campaign.

The OKGo campaign supports the attraction of new talent, entrepreneurs, business investment and events to the region, ultimately driving recovery across all economic sectors.

The multi-year marketing campaign includes targeted digital campaigns in major Canadian cities and the US Pacific Northwest and distribution through partner networks including Destination Canada, Trade and Invest BC and Global Affairs Canada to audiences internationally. Central Okanagan residents, businesses and organizations also act as ambassadors by sharing the OKGo stories through their local, national and international networks.

“The winners of IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development awards represent the best of economic development and exemplify the leadership that our profession strives for every day,” said 2021 IEDC Board Chair and Invest Buffalo Niagara, President, and CEO Tom Kucharski. “We’re honored to recognize the more than 100 communities whose marketing submissions, projects, and partnerships have improved regional quality of life.”

We're incredibly honored to recognize the outstanding organizations that received this year's Excellence Awards. This year, more than ever, has presented opportunities to innovate, impact, and progress the cities, neighborhoods, and communities around us. Each of this year's recipients represents the best of the economic development profession and exemplifies the ingenuity for fellow economic developers to aspire to in the years to come.

More information about the OKGo campaign, including a promotional video of the region, a digital copy of a high-end magazine that showcases the stories of some of the region’s local companies and a media kit, can be found on the campaign’s website ok-go.ca.

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Free Radon test kits - October 12, 2021

The RDCO Air Quality program is once again offering 300 radon gas testing kits to Central Okanagan residents (owners and tenants) that register online rdco.com/radonawareness by October 18 or while supplies last. Given last year’s huge interest from Central Okanagan residents, it’s anticipated that the limited number of free radon gas test kits available this year will be snapped up in short order.

Air Quality program coordinator Nancy Mora Castro says “The Radon testing program coordinated by the Regional District of Central Okanagan provides residents with easy access to radon testing. Homeowners should take the opportunity this fall to test their homes and if required, reduce their radon exposure. It’s an easy step to help reduce the risk of lung cancer.”

There’s a limit of one test kit per property and it must be picked up from their participating local government office the week of November 1-5. Those receiving a kit will be asked to follow the instructions for completing the 91-day minimum test and return their kit to their local government office in late February 2022. The test results will be sent to each participant in early Spring 2022 along with mitigation recommendations.

Radon gas is an odourless and invisible gas that can be found inside any building. As the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, high levels of radon in your home could impact the health of you and your family. Radon levels can vary greatly and as a result, the only way to accurately gauge the potential health impact is to test, testing is easy.

Dr. Silvina Mema, Medical Health Officer, Interior Health says “Radon is a known carcinogen and exposure to elevated of levels increases a person’s risk of developing lung cancer later in life. As we look at ways to prevent future cancers and look after our well-being, testing and reducing radon levels is an important step for cancer prevention.”

The Central Okanagan is considered by the federal government to be at a high risk for this radioactive gas that escapes from the ground into buildings. That’s why, for the second year in a row,  the RDCO Air Quality Program is teaming up with Health Canada’s Take Action on Radon initiative, Interior Health, the BC Lung Association (with funding from Vancouver Foundation) to offer free radon test kits for Central Okanagan residents. 

Take Action on Radon is led by the Canadian Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (CARST), CAREX Canada and the Canadian Cancer Society to raise awareness about radon and its potential hazard. To learn more, please visit takeactiononradon.ca.

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Trepanier Creek Greenway Trail Closure - October 1, 2021

A section of Trepanier Creek Greenway Regional Park is closed until the end of October.

The recreational trail closure is approximately 500 metres upstream from the Clements Road trailhead next to Peachland Elementary school and three kilometres downstream from the Trepanier Road trailhead near Highway 97-C.

The closure is required for watermain construction as part of the new Peachland Water Treatment plant project. 

Until the work is completed, visitors will have an out and back hiking experience as there’s no trail access beyond the closed work area.

For everyone’s safety please stay out of the signed, closed area and watch for trucks and heavy equipment accessing the work area. 

The Regional District offers more than 2,100 hectares of parkland including 74 kilometres of formal trails in 30 regional parks for visitors to safely explore while practicing physical distancing.  Visit rdco.com/pickapark to plan your next outing.

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Highlights from the Regional Board meeting - September 28, 2021

Here is a link to the Board Reports highlights from the Regional Board meeting Monday evening September 27 including information about water system and development fee relief for impacted North Westside residents affected by evacuations for the White Rock Lake wildfire.

When available, here's where you will find links to view a recording of the:

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Open burning permits start October 1 - September 27, 2021

Starting this Friday, open burning permits will be available for eligible Central Okanagan property owners from their local fire service.

Those meeting the requirements of local fire protection bylaws are eligible to receive a permit.  If necessary, each fire jurisdiction enforces its own bylaw regulations.

Qualifying property owners that are entitled to burn within the four Central Okanagan East or Central Okanagan West electoral area fire protection areas (Ellison, Joe Rich, North Westside, Wilson’s Landing) may call the Regional District at 250-469-6223 to obtain a permit.  Residents with questions about the burn permit process in the Central Okanagan should contact their local fire service.

Property owners with an open burning permit are also required to ensure they comply with the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Strategy Provincial Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation. Detailed information is available on the Ministry website.  Questions about the regulation should be directed to Ministry staff.

Anyone eligible to conduct open burning should consider alternatives such as chipping, grinding or if applicable, yard waste disposal at the Glenmore landfill or the RDCO Westside Residential Waste and Recycling Centre off Asquith Road in West Kelowna (fees apply at both locations). North Westside and Traders Cove area residents may dispose of a maximum 10 bags of yard waste per visit at their transfer stations.  The RDCO Air Quality program has more information available on other disposal options.

Before lighting any fire, property owners with a valid permit from their local fire service and meeting all of the Provincial Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation must call the toll-free Outdoor Burning Hotline:  1-855-262-2876 (BURN) to determine if open burning is allowed on a particular day.  As well, each morning an online Outdoor Burning indicator is updated at rdco.com/airquality. Both the Venting and Air Quality conditions must be good for burning to take place. 

Under the Regional District Smoke Control Bylaw, nuisance smoke from open burning is not allowed in the City of Kelowna, District of Lake Country, City of West Kelowna and the Central Okanagan East and Central Okanagan West electoral areas or under the bylaws of the District of Peachland.  Yard waste such as leaves, pine needles, grass clippings, weeds and other garden waste are not allowed to be burned.

Violators of local bylaws could receive a fine or be charged with the cost of putting out the fire by their fire service.  Residents may report anyone violating local bylaws and burning on a non-burning day by calling the Regional Fire Dispatch Center at 250-469-8577.  Potential violations of the Provincial regulations should be reported to the BC RAPP line (1-877-952-7277).

Under Regional District and local fire bylaws permitted open burning must be complete on April 30 although the date may be adjusted depending on the local fire hazard. 

Central Okanagan residents should check with their local fire jurisdiction regarding regulations and restrictions on campfires, chimineas and other outdoor wood burning devices.  Campfires, chimineas and other outdoor wood burning devices are not allowed in the City of Kelowna.

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Household bulky item collection extended for North Westside residents - September 22, 2021

North Westside Road residents within the Central Okanagan will have a longer window of opportunity to dispose of unwanted bulky items this fall.

The Bulky Item collection event is held twice a year, once in spring and again in fall, at the North Westside Road transfer station on Sugar Loaf Mountain Forest Service Road. This falls collection event has been extended an extra week to help residents in recovery mode after the White rock lake Wildfire.

Event Details:

  • Wednesday, October 6 through Wednesday, October 20
  • During regular operating hours at the North Westside Road transfer station
  • You can dispose of large household bulky items for a cost of $20 per truckload.
  • Cash or cheques will be the only accepted method of payment. 

The North Westside Road transfer station is set up to receive household waste including appliances, scrap metal, lawn mowers and other motorized parts, household and lawn furniture.

Hazardous material (including computers and electronics) and demolition waste such as wood from damaged structures or burnt vehicles cannot be accepted.

Note: Fridges and freezers will be accepted at this event at No charge, however must be emptied of all contents prior to drop off.

The North Westside transfer station is only open to RDCO residents, property owners and tenants with a valid ID card. For residents outside the Regional District of Central Okanagan please contact your local government.

The North Westside Road transfer station is open Monday, Wednesday, and Sunday from 8 a.m. until 12 noon and Saturday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.  It is located at the Sugarloaf Mountain/Whiteman Creek Forest Service Road. (Turn at the corner of Westside Road and Sugarloaf Mountain Forest Service Road and follow the signs.)

For more information and details about this collection please contact the Regional Waste Reduction Office at 250-469-6250 or email recycle@rdco.com.

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Grant assists RDCO with new Development Approvals Strategy - September 21, 2021

The Regional District of Central Okanagan has received a $371,000 grant from the Union of BC Municipalities to develop and implement a new Development Approvals Improvement Strategy.

One of 43 communities to get funds from the provincial government, the goal of the program is to create more efficient and streamlined development approval processes to reduce barriers and support economic recovery.

“Throughout the development of this strategy, the Regional District intends to review what we currently do to see what is working and what is not”, says RDCO Community Services Director Todd Cashin. “The goal is to update or create internal approvals and communications procedures that will result in more effective engagement regarding development processes.” 

Some of the outcomes of this two-year project includes implementing new software, establishing an online application portal, reviewing existing processes and associated bylaws, and developing standard templates and guidelines. The strategy will identify opportunities for improvement to make the permitting and approvals process more efficient and user-friendly.

RDCO Chair Gail Given says this is an important endeavor as the Central Okanagan is one of the fastest growing and most desirable places to live in BC and across Canada. “Over the past five years we’ve seen development trends continue to increase across the region. This is having a direct impact and putting pressure on rural land in the Central Okanagan East and Central Okanagan West electoral areas. By putting a streamlined strategy for development approvals into practice, we hope to raise awareness and understanding of the regional district process and strive for consistency across the region. And at the same time, we’ll create a more transparent and efficient process for potential applicants, while meeting the planning and policy objectives of the RDCO.”

It is envisioned that engagement opportunities will help to raise awareness about overlapping jurisdictions and the Regional District’s role in how development and land-use application decisions are made. The objective is to make the development approvals process easier for residents and the development community and to align with best practices.

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Take responsibility for your garabage - keep bears out - September 17, 2021

The Regional Waste Reduction Office is reminding residents-please do your part to keep your neighborhood safe by managing all things that attract wildlife around your home, including your household garbage.

Conservation Officers confirm this has been an extremely active bear season with higher than normal bear sightings and complaint calls, due partly to the wildfires across the region but also extreme drought conditions sending bears searching new locales for food.  CO’s have received a much higher than normal call volume with bears regularly spotted in several neighborhoods from South East Kelowna to West Kelowna, Lake Country and Peachland.

Waste Reduction Facilitator Rae Stewart says now is the time to be extra careful and manage  our behaviour accordingly.  “This is the time of year bears amp up their foraging to build fat stores for winter denning. The best advice if you live in an area susceptible to wildlife is - reduce your risk of conflict- take responsibility for your garbage.”

Stewart reminds residents to store garbage securely, and only put your garbage out the day of pickup, not the night before. “Bears in particular, but other animals as well, have a keen sense of smell. The idea is not to attract them to your garbage unnecessarily. If they have access to your waste, not only can they make a real mess, but they can become food conditioned. Then they pose a risk to you and your family and pets, your neighbors, and themselves. And that’s totally preventable.”

Stewart adds the Regional Waste Reduction Office in conjunction with waste contractor E360s is now into the final phase of a bear cart pilot project testing various models of bear resistant garbage carts in select neighborhoods throughout the region.  “Dependent on the results of the pilot and how those carts have been standing up to bear activity, there may be bear resistant cart options for residents by spring of next year.”

As part of a pilot project this year with the Regional District, the WildSafeBC Central Okanagan program has been working right across the region to monitor carts out the night before, and bear and wildlife activity in general, as well as providing education across the region for residents. WildSafeBC Coordinator, Meg Bjordal says “It’s important for residents to understand that they have a critical role in preventing conflicts with bears and other wildlife, which is through attractant management”.

WildSafeBC has great tips you can follow to help keep wildlife wild and the community safe:

  • Secure your garbage – store it in a secure location indoors or a bear-resistant enclosure. Also secure Yard Waste cart if it contains fruit.
  • Only put garbage out for collection on the morning of pickup, not the night before
  • Encourage neighbors to do the same, offer to help if needed
  • Consider freezing your kitchen waste until the morning of collection day
  • Manage your fruit trees, pick ripe & fallen fruit immediately
  • Maintain your compost so it doesn’t smell. Add fruit slowly. No meat/dairy.
  • Use birdbaths and houses to attract birds, instead of bird feeders

Please report human-bear conflicts to the BC Conservation Officer Service at 1.877.952.7277

For more information on deterring bears from your garbage, visit the WildSafeBC website: https://wildsafebc.com/species/black-bear/.  For additional inquiries, visit rdco.com/recycle, email recycle@rdco.com or call the Regional Waste Reduction Office at 250.469.6250.

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RDCO extends Stage 2 outdoor watering - September 16, 2021

Due to the Okanagan’s extreme drought conditions, the Regional District of Central Okanagan is keeping its water systems on a Stage 2 outdoor irrigation program.

The Star Place/Dietrich, Falcon Ridge, Sunset Ranch, Upper Fintry-Shalal Road-Valley of the Sun and Westshore Estates systems have been at Stage 2 since June 16 when the RDCO systems normally move to the twice a week outdoor watering schedule.

The Killiney Beach water system is also now at a Stage 2, twice a week outdoor irrigation.  Until today, all outdoor watering had been prohibited (Stage 4) due to the impact of White Rock Lake wildfire fire suppression efforts.  While a Do Not Consume notice continues for people and pets living on approximately 295 properties on the Killiney system, the water may be used for irrigating lawns, plants and gardens.

Stage 2 means outdoor watering is restricted for customers of those systems to two days each week. Those with even number addresses may water outdoors on Saturday and Tuesday while those with odd addresses may only irrigate outside on Sunday and Wednesday. And given the drier than normal conditions this year and severe drought designation by Agriculture Canada, if you don’t need to water gardens and lawns on your allotted day and time period, please don’t waste water. By following the outdoor watering restrictions, residents will help ensure that system reservoirs are replenished and there’s an adequate water supply for everyone.

The Regional District Water Systems Regulations Bylaw No. 1370 outlines the hours for automated and manual outdoor irrigation. Customers with automated sprinklers should only water between midnight and 6 a.m. on their designated day, while those with manual outdoor irrigation must restrict their watering to between 6 and 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. and midnight on their respective irrigation day. 

When conditions allow, customers will be notified when Stage 1 alternate day irrigation is allowed, based on their odd/even address number.  Unless other outdoor watering restrictions are in place, normally Stage 1 watering takes place from September 16 until June 15 each year.

For more tips on water conservation inside and outside your home, visit the Regional District Water System webpage at rdco.com/water.  Customers may also sign up there to receive email notifications of any water advisories or special maintenance works affecting their water system.

The Regional District maintains and operates six community water systems serving just over 1,100 properties in the Central Okanagan East and Central Okanagan West electoral areas.

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Bear Watch Underway In RDCO Parks - September 10, 2021

With ripening fruit in Central Okanagan orchards and vineyards and spawning Kokanee salmon returning to streams, as expected reports and sightings of bears is increasing.

“This is the time of year that our field staff and visitors to Central Okanagan Regional Parks start seeing more signs that bears are around” says RDCO communications officer Bruce Smith.  “As sightings and evidence of their presence rise, we post signs in affected parks identifying that bears may be active in the area.”

He says “If possible visitors should travel in a group and make some noise to alert any bears to your presence.  As the fall Kokanee salmon spawning season ramps up visitors may encounter bears bulking up on this food source in local creeks and streams.  Bears fishing for food may not hear you over the noise of the creek water.   If you see a bear, give it plenty of space and stay well away from it.”  Also please keep children and pets out of spawning streams.

It’s important to raise your bear awareness at this time of year in order to avoid encounters with as bears can be aggressive, especially when defending their food or their cubs.  Bears also have excellent senses of smell and hearing and better sight than you might believe.  Unless otherwise designated, dog owners are reminded their pets must be leashed and kept on trails at all times in order to avoid any potentially serious wildlife encounter. (Safety Guide to Wildlife in Regional Parks)

The RDCO Waste Reduction Office and WildSafeBC Central Okanagan remind all residents to reduce potential human-bear conflicts by securely storing any garbage and only placing their garbage cart out on the morning of their regular curbside collection.  That helps to prevent attracting bears or other wildlife.  WildSafeBC has more tips for bear awareness and wildlife safety on properties.

When visiting RDCO parks please follow current pandemic health regulations.  There are 73 kilometers of formal trails in 30 regional parks, many of which are naturally protected forested areas and may contain natural hazards.   Visit rdco.com/pickapark for more information. 

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Highlights from the Regional Board meeting - September 9, 2021

Here is a link to the Board Reports highlights from the Regional Board meeting Thursday, September 9 including information about partial fee relief for customers of three North Westside RDCO water systems affected by evacuations for the White Rock Lake wildfire.

When available, here's where you will find links to view a recording of the:

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Killiney Beach water system pressure fluctuation - September 8, 2021

Engineering staff from the Regional District of Central Okanagan continue efforts to repair the Killiney Beach water system.  Engineering Services manager Travis Kendel says we recognize the inconvenience this is causing for residents and appreciate their patience, support and understanding as we move as quickly as possible to restore safe drinking water service.

The system was compromised during White Rock Lake structural fire suppression efforts.

Customers are advised that while repair work is underway, they may experience fluctuating levels of water pressure.  The water may be used for household cleaning, bathing and flushing toilets but must not be consumed. 

The Do Not Consume notice, affecting approximately 295 properties, remains in effect and water should not be used for drinking, making beverages, brushing teeth or in food preparation.  For safety please use bottled or distilled water or water provided by the RDCO from the Upper Fintry system at a free, self-service filling station located at the corner of Westside Road and Firwood Road.

The notice will remain in effect until testing confirms water quality is once again within acceptable Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines.  The system is also under a Stage 4 restriction which prohibits all outdoor irrigation and watering gardens.

For information visit the Regional District website water system webpage (rdco.com/water) or contact RDCO Environmental Services at engineer@rdco.com or 250-469-6241.  To subscribe online for Regional District water quality advisories or alerts by email visit rdco.com/water.

The Regional District’s six water systems provide service to just over 1,100 connections for residents in the Central Okanagan East and Central Okanagan West electoral areas. 

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Gellatly Nut Farm Harvest And Sales - September 8, 2021

For the second year in a row, COVID-19 is affecting fundraising nut sales at Gellatly Nut Farm Regional Park.  The first hazelnuts of the season are already falling to the ground and ready to be purchased.

The proceeds are used by the non-profit Gellatly Nut Farm Society to assist with upkeep and improvements in the popular four-hectare waterfront regional park and working nut orchard off Whitworth Road in West Kelowna.

In light of the ongoing pandemic health and safety restrictions, Society volunteers will not initially open the nut house store this year.  Any change for October and November will be based on health guidelines at the time.  Instead, anyone wishing to purchase nut varieties are asked to self-harvest:

  • Wash or sanitize your hands before and after nut harvesting
  • Wear a mask and keep at least two metres between yourself and others in the orchard and park
  • Bring your own bags
  • Pick from the ground only.  Please do not climb trees. Nuts fall to the ground when they are ripe and ready for harvest
  • Cost:
    • Small bucket (one pound): $5.00
    • Large bucket (four pounds): $20.00
  • Payment must be made by either:
    • E-transfers to nutfarm@shaw.ca (Payments made this way will be automatically accepted – no need for a security question)
    • Cash must be deposited into the payment box at the house near the Whitworth Road park entrance.  The Society is unable to accept any other form of payment.

Nuts that are not paid for upon leaving the Gellatly Nut Farm Regional Park, may result in a $500 fine under the Regional Parks bylaw 1427.

Anyone that would like to purchase a special wood bowl or cutting board made from orchard wood is asked to contact the Society at 250-470-0999 or 250-768-5960.

For more information about the park, nut harvest and Nut Use and Care visit rdco.com/gellatlynutfarm.

The Regional District maintains and operates 30 regional parks and 20 RDCO community parks for residents to safely enjoy. Find all the locations at rdco.com/pickapark.  There are more than 2,100 hectares of parkland available to discover in RDCO parks including 63 kilometres of formal regional park trails for visitors to use while practicing physical distancing.

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Do Not Consume Notice for Killiney Water System - September 2, 2021

In consultation with Interior Health, the Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO) has issued a Do Not Consume Notice for residents served by the Killiney Beach water system. The water system has been damaged by the White Rock Lake wildfire.

This affects more than 280 properties serviced in the Killiney Beach subdivision located off Westside Road.

Until further notice the RDCO and Interior Health recommend that all Killiney Beach water customers find a safe alternative. Boiling water will not make it safe.

This water should not be used for drinking, making beverages, brushing teeth or food preparation. All water users are advised to use an alternate source of water or bottled water for the above purposes.

It is okay to use the water for household cleaning, bathing and flushing toilets. The water in your hot water tank would also be unsafe for consumption. Please consult a qualified plumber before draining your hot water tank.

For information visit the Regional District website water system webpage (rdco.com/water) or contact RDCO Environmental Services at engineer@rdco.com or 250-469-6241.  To subscribe online for Regional District water quality advisories or alerts by email visit rdco.com/water.

The Regional District’s six water systems provide service to just over 1,100 connections for residents in the Central Okanagan East and Central Okanagan West electoral areas. 

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Regional District of Central Okanagan | 1450 KLO Road | Kelowna, BC V1W 3Z4
Ph: 250-763-4918 | Fax: 250-763-0606 | Email: info@rdco.com
Hours: Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 4:00 pm (Closed Holidays)