Flood Recovery

Flood demobilization and recovery nearing completion

Residents are now responsible for any final sandbag removal on their own property. The sandbag drop off locations throughout the region are now closed. Separated sand and sandbags can be returned to the Glenmore Landfill in Kelowna. Sand will be accepted free of charge and the empty sandbags charged regular tipping fees.

Under no circumstances should sandbags be emptied into creeks, lakes, wetland, beaches or other watercourses as outlined in the Water Sustainability Act. The impact can destroy fish habitat and affect drinking water supply, infrastructure, flood control, navigation and recreational activities.

If sandbags on private property have been missed by pickup crews, call the City of Kelowna Civic Operations Action Line at 250-469-8600.

Care for sandbag removal

Residents dealing with sandbags on their own property should take precautions when working around stagnant water. Sandbags that have been sitting in water can contain mould. Residents should wear N95 respirators, nitrile gloves and rubber boots while working and should thoroughly wash hands and clothes after handling the bags.

Debris removal

Debris removal is ongoing. Four barge crews are currently working on Okanagan Lake. Crews will be working along north Westside Road as well as Peachland and West Kelowna.

The collection of unnatural debris from the shores of Okanagan Lake is expected to continue for several more weeks. This includes unclaimed broken docks, unregistered boats, garbage and barrels, along with large trees or stumps. Damaged docks and pilings still in place are the responsibility of the property owner.

Any debris that residents do not want removed should be clearly marked with “Do Not Remove”, so crews know to leave it behind. This may include sections of dock residents are hoping to repair. If possible, use fluorescent orange flagging tape or paint.

Debris, docks and beaches

Debris removal

Barges will continue to remove unnatural debris until further notice from the shores of local lakes including unclaimed broken docks, unregistered boats, garbage and barrels, along with large trees or stumps. Damaged docks and pilings still in place are the responsibility of the property owner.

Hidden water hazards

Debris from damaged docks including wood, screws, nails and other hazards may be hidden beneath floodwaters. Residents are urged to be cautious around the lakeshore. Crews will be responsible for the removals of debris and other hazards as lake levels decrease on public property.  Contact the local municipality to report any hazards.

Rebuilding of docks

Most local municipalities have no permitting requirements for docks but rely on the provincial licence requirements for docks built on Crown land, along with some additional detail to ensure designs that cross public foreshore maintain public access. Property owners and building contactors will need to refer to the local municipality as regulations will apply.

Please visit the Province of British Columbia's page on How to replace your dock for more informaiton.

Province approval

The province’s Licence of Occupation contains requirements for the permitted length, shape, siting, setbacks and materials of docks. The provincial licence also states the docks, fences and walls must not block pedestrian access between the high water mark and the low water mark. For more information, check out the Province of BC webpage about private moorage.

Enforcement

The province has the power to enforce alterations to structures that do not comply with its Licence of Occupation for Crown land.

All dock, wall, fence repairs or reconstruction below the high-water mark must go through Front Counter BC at 1-877-855-3222. Any illegal or unauthorized activities must be reported to the province Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277.

For more information, visit the Ministry of Forestry, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Compliance & Enforcement site at https://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hen/nrv/.

My dock is broken, what should I do?

Most local municipalities have no permitting requirements for docks but rely on the provincial licence requirements for docks built on Crown land, along with some additional detail to ensure designs that cross public foreshore maintain public access.

Property owners and building contactors will need to refer to the local municipality as regulations will apply.See the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations to learn how to replace docks.

Is there any assistance for clean up of debris on private property and what do I do with debris washed up on my property?

Barges continue to remove unnatural debris from the shores of local lakes including unclaimed broken docks, unregistered boats, garbage and barrels, along with large trees or stumps. Damaged docks and pilings still in place are the responsibility of the property owner.

Any debris that residents do not want removed should be clearly marked with “Do Not Remove”, so crews know to leave it behind. This may include sections of dock residents are hoping to repair. If possible, use fluorescent orange flagging tape or paint.

Small woody debris on private property is the responsibility of residents. It can disposed of as yard waste and put into the curbside yard waste bin providing it meets acceptable size limits under the program.

Yard-waste type debris may also be taken to the Glenmore landfill free in loads up to 250 kilograms and less than 5 centimetres in circumference. 

  • Loads over 250 kilograms are assessed at $40.00 per metric tonne fee for disposal.
  • Prunings over 5 centimetres in circumference and less than 20 centimetres in diameter, are charged at $10.00 per metric tonne
  • Logs, limbs and branches greater than 20 centimetres in diameter are accepted at $10.00 per metric tonne. Logs, limbs and branches must be cut to a maximum length of 4 feet (no rocks or soil).
  • Regular tipping fees apply for larger diameter debris or garbage in excess of the 250 kilogram maximum.

Yard-waste sized debris may also be taken to:

  • The Westside Residential Waste Disposal and Recycling Centre on Asquith Road in West Kelowna. Regular yard waste disposal charge applies.
  • The transfer stations at Traders Cove and North Westside with a maximum load of 250 kilograms, 10 bags or one pick-up truck load.

See the Regional District Regional Yard Waste Program for more information https://www.regionaldistrict.com/your-services/waste-reduction-office/yard-waste.aspx

I have spotted debris in the middle of the lake, should I report it?

The province will not be picking up debris until it has washed up on the shore.

Is there a charge at the landfill for woody debris?
  1. There is no charge for the disposal of yard waste totaling less than 250 kgs.

  2. Yard trimmings include grass clippings, leaves, hedge clippings, flowers, vegetable stalks, fruit and vegetable waste and twigs less than 5 cm in circumference.  Loads over 250 kgs are assessed at $40.00 per metric tonne fee for disposal.

  3. Prunings over 5 cm in circumference and less than 20 cm (8") in diameter, with or without leaves or needles attached, are charged at $10.00 per metric tonne.

  4. Logs, limbs and branches greater than 20 cm in diameter are accepted at $10.00 per metric tonne.  Logs, limbs and branches must be cut to a maximum length of 4 feet.  (No rocks or soil.)

  5. Stumps cut at ground level, with rocks and soil removed from roots are accepted at $65.00 per metric tonne.

  6. Mixed loads will be charged based upon the highest cost material in the load and assessed at an extra $50.00 per metric tonne handling/sorting fee.

See the Glenmore Regional Landfill for further information.

Is the water safe for swimming?

Interior Health regularly tests major swimming beaches for beach water quality, in partnership with local governments. Test results are available online at Interior Health. At the current time all test results are within acceptable levels.

However, be aware that many beaches are still closed to the public due to protective works, or hazardous materials (e.g. debris).  Also be aware there may be hazards due to floating debris in the water.

Check with your local government for a list of sites that are open for swimming.

What are the conditions like for boating?

Lakes levels have returned to normal and all regular boating activity can resume. Boaters should remain vigilant and watch for floating debris.

Find the most up to date informatin on boat launches and waterfront parks directly from the local municipality websites:

Returning home after a flood

Disaster Financial Assistance

The BC Government announced that Disaster Financial Assistance is available to Central Okanagan residents affected by the recent flooding.  Applications must be submitted by Aug. 5 to Emergency Management BC and are available online at www.gov.bc.ca/disasterfinancialassistance.

For more information phone 1-888-257-4777 (toll-free), or email DFA@gov.bc.ca.

Information on Flood Preparedness and Returning After a Flood

The Preparedness BC website has information to help those property owners with protecting their property from flooding and some considerations for those returning after a flood. 

Interior Health also has information available for residents to consider Before, During and After a flood.

Information on flooding and electrical safety is also available for BC Hydro and FortisBC (electrical and natural gas) customers: www.bchydro.com and www.fortisbc.com.