Ellison Distribution System
In April 1990, the Ellison Irrigation District amalgamated with the Glenmore Irrigation District to form the Glenmore-Ellison Improvement District (GEID). Although administration has been integrated under GEID, the distribution/supply water mains of each system remain separate.
- Ellison - includes the area east of Kelowna International Airport, from Anderson Rd at the south to Spencer Rd at the north. Ellison also includes the Dry Valley Rd area during the irrigation season.
- Glenmore - includes the Glenmore Valley, Wilden, Sexsmith area, UBCO, Quail Ridge and the west side of the Airport.
The Ellison area remains primarily agricultural with only a small pocket of development near Spencer Rd where two large residential developments are located.
Water for Ellison is primarily supplied from Mill Creek. This water flows from the Postill chain of lakes and enters the Ellison distribution system at the Postill Lake Rd pumpstation. In addition to this creek water, there are several wells that supply our Ellison customers however, especially during the irrigation season, these wells cannot keep up with demand. The creek water can experience high colour and elevated turbidity especially during spring freshet, whereas colour and turbidity in well water are normal and do not fluctuate.
Water to the Glenmore portion of the system is also supplied from Mill Creek however by the time the water has travelled overland to the McKinley Reservoir some of the colour and turbidity have "settled out". In addition, several wells augment this supply. As a result, colour and turbidity for Glenmore can be significantly less than for Ellison.
Plans are under review to separate the irrigation and domestic water for Ellison. Phase 1 of this plan entailed the upgrade of one of the Airport wells which is now supplying year-round well water for domestic use only to the north end of Ellison. The properties normally receiving well water year-round include:
- Country Rhodes Stratas - 6100 Old Vernon Rd.
- Country View Estates Stratas - 6400 Spencer Rd.
- 4451 - 4563 Postill Lake Rd.
- 5981 Old Vernon Rd.
Due to the configuration of the existing system, the area receiving this well water is strictly limited. Residents in this area should receive well water year-round however pump failures, power outages or other emergencies can result in GEID temporarily returning the area to creek water until emergency repairs are conducted.
Note: January 13th, 2014 update - this area is now receiving creek water due to a recent pump failure at one of the District's wells. The District is working with contractors to source new parts and repair the failed pump.
GEID is working towards the upgrade of the remaining areas of Ellision however future works may require full system separation of domestic and irrigation water and is included in GEID's Capital Works Plan. System separation will entail the installation of new watermains throughout Ellison to provide separate potable drinking water to residents while retaining the existing mains for seasonal, creek water for agricultural use.
The Okanagan Lake Project, to pump OK Lake water into McKinley Reservoir and into the Glenmore system is not expected to benefit the Ellison system. Two limiting factors include the lack of a water main from Glenmore back to Ellison and the high agricultural demands that the Ellison system would impose on pumping water back into that area.
The upgrades for Ellison are addressed in the Kelowna Integrated Water Supply Plan (see separate article under the Kelowna Joint Water Committee) and are dependent on funding. GEID will update this article as information becomes available. Residents should also watch for updates in our Spring and Fall newsletters.
Updated: September 10, 2012