Wednesday, October 26, 2016

More UFW

UFW is--using Greater Vernon Water utility's acronym--Unaccounted For Water.

The School District shouldn't have to "defend" its flushing of waterlines to remove lead, as today's Morning Star story by Rolke implied.  And it's technically not unaccounted for water, as schools are on metered consumption.  But the schools deserve a cost break due to having to flush water daily.

First, the story:

"Vernon School District officials insist they aren't unnecessarily wasting water.

Water lines are being flushed at five schools daily because of lead in the system.

"They don't measure the water used," said Joe Rogers, superintendent.

At Kalamalka Secondary School, there are 11 plumbing fixtures and it takes 45 minutes to flush them.
"Some are turned on for one to two minutes," said Rogers.

Seventy-three minutes are needed for the 15 fixtures at W.L. Seaton Secondary, while there are 14 fixtures at BX, 11 at Cherryville and 18 at Mission Hill (schools).

"We have already changed out the fixtures at Crossroads in Lumby," said Rogers.

And it's expected additional water consumption will be reduced as the lead issue is addressed.

"We've ordered new parts and replacement will take place over two to three months," said Rogers.

Rogers admits that entire pipes may have to be replaced if lead levels are still high.  The source of lead in the tap water is likely from aging plumbing material."
                Morning Star                

Image from Mister Plumber website

Okay, Mr. Rogers it certainly makes sense for the school district to replace pipes and fittings and, in the meantime, flush lines to reduce the risk of lead being ingested by children.  All would agree that it is definitely necessary.

So what's the problem?

The problem is GVW bureaucrats of course.
It always is.

You'd think--with Mr. Rogers' dilemma--that GVW could place one of their numerous workers to do the rounds of the schools, record the meter reading on arrival, begin the flushing and then record the meter reading at the conclusion of the flushing.

Or the schools' custodians could record the start/finish water meter readings!
And the schools--and taxpayers--could get a discount / free on the total flushing volume.

"Can you just imagine the amount of lead in the treated wastewater system?", Kia would've asked, adding "plus reclaimed water irrigates the fruit and veggies we import."

Gives a whole new meaning to the word "reclaimed", doesn't it?
Plus a few graphics of interest.
Click to enlarge.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Kiss Principle

That's what we'll call it.
The Kiss Principle.
And it's hoped this won't be the last of the ideas that finally rose to the top of the pile.

Gyula Kiss has a lot of good ideas, most notably on how to improve the North Okanagan's complex water system.

This one sets a precedent for water license transfer to a downstream location, with myriad benefits.
And no disadvantages, as it does not "adversely affect the system".

In his own words...from the coldstreamernews blog.

"A small victory!
At the October 18th meeting of the North Okanagan Regional District Board of Directors the following motion was passed:
"13. Transfer of Water Licenses


(Customized Stakeholder Vote – Includes Coldstream, Vernon, Electoral  Areas B and C)That as recommended by the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee, staff be directed to submit an application to the Ministry of Environment to transfer the existing Greater Vernon Water's Kalamalka Lake Water License from Coldstream Creek to the Kalamalka Lake intake."
Yours truly has been promoting this action for many years with no success. The response from consultants and staff has always been that this would not be approved by the government agencies. This argument was inconsistent with the Water Act which permitted the transfer of the “Point of Diversion” (PoD) of a water license to a different point within the water course provided it did not affect adversely the system. Moving the PoD downstream within a system is environmentally beneficial and it should be encouraged.

If this transfer request is successful then it would serve as precedent for future PoD transfer requests to Okanagan Lake.

Congratulations, Gyula.

"This Kiss Principle will be the first of many of his ideas to be adopted," Kia would've said.

It's unfortunate that RDNO bureaucracy and Ministry officials took so long to see the merit of the idea.
No matter...moving forward is finally the right direction!

Friday, October 21, 2016

GVW's Infrastructure Failures

Here comes the preamble to more rate gouging from the North Okanagan's water utility:  Greater Vernon Water.

This was sent to Vernon customers.
Coldstream residents didn't receive a list of what's failed in Coldstream/Lavington; officials presumably haven't compiled it yet, or little has failed, or bureaucrats are sending out only one volley at a time.
Maybe all three.

(click to enlarge)

And there are scads of infrastructure problems in Vernon.
Scads and scads.
Many involve residents whose connection to city services have failed at their property line.
And Vernon--like many other cities--is quick to reject liability, placing blame on the homeowner.

One such complaint--from Tony and Kay Stamboulieh--actually made it into the local newspaper as a Letter to the Editor.

Mr. Stamboulieh summed up what many people feel:

" arrogance that does not have a place
 in the function of elected council people,
 including the mayor or the administration
 that taxpayer dollars pay for.
Taxpayers should not be
 treated with such utter disrespect."

We know of one other case that involves a sewer connection at a resident's property line--which has been reported to City of Vernon administration twice in three years...all with no action by the City despite two horrible and dangerous-to-health sewer backups into the residence.

The plumber who was hired--twice--states the problem is with the City's connected/roadside pipe as his "pipe camera" showed both times! 
But nothing's been corrected by the city...presumably because the homeowner can't afford to hire a lawyer.  Interestingly enough, around the corner of the property, an entire street had been dug up by the city, some work had taken place, and then the street was repaved with no contact made to the complaining homeowner not 200 feet away!

"As a consultant has warned, this could happen again and to other taxpayers unless the city upgrades its maintenance practices because we were hooked again in exactly the same way which was again approved by the city. In short, had we not stood up to them, the city would have completely ignored us in terms of their responsibility to assist or to examine their own part in the spill," confirms Mr. Stamboulieh.

"Big Brother is a bully," Kia would've said.

We all know how difficult it is to fight a big brother.

Friday, October 14, 2016

As Though Tourists Care...

Tourists don't care there's new signage going up.

Highway 6 sign October 14, 2016

Welcome to Greater Vernon--and its alternate face--Thank you for Visiting have been in place for nearly 10 years on Highways 97 and 6 and suddenly nobody seems to have the money to maintain them.

So typical of bureaucrats and politicians.

Some politicians said people don't know what Greater Vernon means.
Some politicians said they won't pay for maintenance because signs don't include the electoral areas B and C.
Some politicians say signs should only state Welcome to Vernon.

You'd have thought somebody--anybody, including the regional district--would've included maintenance for the signs during their construction.

As part and parcel of their installation.

But apparently not.

Kia would've had an idea for a sign that seems increasingly appropriate:
  "Welcome to Our Ungovernable Region",
and its alternate
"Thank you for Visiting our Ungovernable Region"

Amen to that.

Back on January 27, 2014--when the following two photos were taken--the crumbling of facades was considered a metaphor for the area's governance...and many residents agreed.

photos taken January 27, 2014

Almost three years later, the metaphor still fits.
Mostly because the same politicians and bureaucrats are in place.

...and they either don't plan appropriately or they simply piss money away on stuff that's not important in the scheme of things.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Fall Clean-up, Water Invoices, and Kia Comes Home

One makes you feel good.
One makes you say "ouch".
The last brings us peace.

First, the "ouch":  the latest water meter invoices for the residence, clubhouse and golf course irrigation are at the bottom of the page here.

Now to the feel good part.
About time we got rid of a 35+ year old--and dead--poplar tree before winter storms send it crashing down onto the road or the neighbour's shed.

the huge dead poplar

And we certainly called the right contractor!
Justin Fisher Tree Service, cell 250 309-0001 (Paul did the work)

Within about an hour, he had the tree carefully dismantled and dropped.  And not a branch on the neighbour's driveway!
And some miscellaneous pics:

Last of the corn stalks are harvested at the the drivers are all celebrating with a Tim's donut and coffee!
Hate--absolutely hate--black widow spiders.  This one was inside the blue Mini-Material B.C. recycling container.  YUK!

Sorry out of focus...this buck at the top of the course took off with his harem of four females.
And, saving the most important for last, our  Dear Kia  finally came home:

The golf course...where she belongs.
It feels good to have Kia home again.

Rest in peace, Dear Kia.