Repairs to The Ditch on schedule

By ROY WOOD

Repairs to the Gallagher Lake siphon section of the Oliver Water System are proceeding on time and there will be water available for irrigation in early April as usual.

The underground section of the system was damaged by a rockslide on January 25. There had been fears that agricultural irrigation might be compromised for farms, orchards and vineyards in Oliver, Electoral Area C and the Osoyoos Indian Band.

However, a temporary 20-metre-long steel sleeve has been inserted to carry water through the damaged section.

Water councillor Rick Machial said Tuesday the plan is to test fill the repaired section around April 1 and then, assuming the repair works, charge the system for an April 11 start up.

He said there were fears that the 48-inch diameter insert might restrict water flow through the 78-inch system. However, he said, indications are the water will flow more quickly through the temporary section and “we actually anticipate not losing too much flow.”

The fix is designed to last through this growing season. Full repairs will be undertaken in the fall.

The town has budgeted $475,000 from reserves for the project. The province recently announced it would contribute over half a million dollars.  

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