Case Studies that Demonstrate the Cost of Doing Nothing

Protecting source water is often easier and more cost effective than treatment alone or dealing with the aftermath of contamination events.

Canadian examples:

B.C. example:

Okanagan examples:

  • $4 million on cleanup of  chemical warehouse fire with runoff into Mill Creek during firefighting efforts in 2011 (Kelowna Capital News, 2011).
  • $450,000 and a $18,400 fine plus the permanent loss of the water supply after waste manure from a dairy farm was spread on frozen fields contaminated the Antwerp Springs well in Lavington, B.C.
  • $150,000+ cleanup cost, which is more than 10 times the estimate to remove an abandoned house on the Mission Creek floodplain prior to its freshet wash-out.

Other Okanagan incidents where the economics have not been tallied:

  • 2017 landslide, which affected Peachland water supply.
  • Belgo Creek landslide in May 2017, which affected the Black Mountain Irrigation District water supply. 
  • Testalinden Creek dam failure in June 2010, which washed away multiple homes, blocked a provincial highway, and impacted both Osoyoos Lake and the drinking water intake used by the Town of Osoyoos.