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Swimming in the reservoir

  Rossland City Council has unanimously approved a request for the swim portion of a triathlon to occur in the Centre Star Gulch reservoir. City Council is keen to offer year round events and an off road triathlon would certainly be an exciting event. 

  However, I don't know how City Council can justify to the residents of Rossland why a special interest group will have access to swimming in the reservoir, when swimming in the reservoir has never before been allowed. Rossland Mayor Kathy Moore is quoted as saying (Rossland News, July 20, 2017) "allowing access to the reservoir for the race and having people swimming in a source of drinking water, is not a concern." Furthermore, Councillor Aaron Cosbey noted, "Our concern is we don't want people to think they can start swimming in there." Really? What else should we think then? 
 
  I have lived in Rossland pretty much my whole life, minus a stint at university. I have enjoyed the reservoir as a lovely 'waterfront' place to recreate; running, walking and biking since the 1970s.  I have never even dipped so much as my fingers or toes in the water of the the reservoir because it is just that.  A reservoir.
 
  I love swimming. I really LOVE swimming! On hot summer days I long for a place to swim in fresh open water, as I am sure many other Rossland residents do. I will admit I have been tempted to swim in Ophir reservoir as it is 'once removed' from directly being our drinking water, but I respect the ban on swimming in Ophir reservoir as well. Like every one else, when I really have to swim, I head for a lake. 
 
  So I am interested to to see how Rossland City Council will rationalize sanctioning a swimming event for a select few. If Council does allow the test swim to proceed, I suspect I may not be the only person in town who decides to participate in civil disobedience and begin swimming in the reservoir. 
 
  I wonder if the folks proposing this event have considered running the triathlon with a swim in Nancy Greene Lake, and the bike and running portion either ending at the lake or ending in Rossland? 
 

this is being discussed in the rossland talks group on facebook. i agree with your points

 

Thanks for your comment macherry.. I am not on Facebook so was unaware of discussion.  But as I said, I am sure I am not the only resident of Rossland with concnerns about allowing swimming to a select group in the Centre Star Gulch reservoir 

They should have Father's Day mud bogs at the north end of the reservoir. 

A recent 'poll' on the city website asked whether people think this should happen, and, at the time, 70% of repondents said NO. The almighty dollar speaks loudest I guess.

Sorry, not the city website but The Rossland Telegraph online...

Thanks  Lamabum for the info about the poll on the Rossland Telegraph Website.  It isn't surprising really that 70% of Rossland residents are opposed to allowing swimming in the resevoir!

 

Macherry-what is the title of the FB discussion? Couldn't find it-but would like to hear more about what other people are thinking.

here is the link. https://www.facebook.com/groups/998829856878595/ 

 

the group is called rossland talks. if you are not a member, just request to join and you can be added easily

 

Hi all- Here are a few corrections to the original post. 1) council was not unanimous. There was a dissenting vote and one councillor absent. 2) The mtn was to approve the event in principle but refer it to staff to determine potential health impacts and a determination of which reservoir would be the appropriate location. The organizers would prefer Star gulch (aka, the old reservoir). The determination from the City was that Ophir would be the best spot because we do not use the water from that source at this time. It's wonderful to have it in case of fire surpression needs and enables us to be prepared for future growth in our community. However, at this time it is not required for our domestic water needs. It is linked into the system via pipes and valves that can be open or closed. Star Gulch, while at a convenient location, is not a good choice due to the silty bottom. Having people swim in our active reservoir could present a health issue (though slight, since our filtration system is good). The real issue is that the silt clogs up the filtration system and creates maintenance issues. I hope this info helps.

 

I had more to say on this but didn't want these posts to look like little books....We are trying to diversify and expand summer events in town. It really helps our downtown businesses, hotels and campground to have extra people come to visit. Its important to expand our attractions beyond the ski hill and winter events. The Broken Goat trail run brought 300 competitors in mid-July who absolutely loved Rossland. That group has now held an event here for the last 3 summers. The Singletrack6 will bring many mountainbikers too. Without visitors we would not have the level of vibrancy and the number of businesses in our town that we enjoy. Even if you aren't directly involved in the tourist business because of visitors Rossland is able to support some really fine retailers, restaurants and services that most likely couldn't survive on just local customers. 

 

ok- promise, this is the last one here (at least for now)....Council has to balance the risk and rewards of all the decisions we make. Since this event will be held in a reservoir which is not currently being used and could bring economic rewards we felt the potential rewards outweighed the risk.

People have commented that if we allow it for an event (which might be more for the benefit of visitors than for locals) its unfair and everyone should be allowed. We are not prepared to make that long term decision at this time.  The last council had commissioned a report on turning Star Gulch into a public swimming spot but more work needed to be done on the feasibility of that idea. Ophir was not considered in that report and should be. The previous Council had asked Tourism Rossland to form a task force to investigate the possibility some time back. That has not yet happened but it probably will. As mentioned, the issue with Star Gulch is silt. The issue with Ophir is maintaining the integrity of the dam structure with silly people moving and removing the rocks that form the dam itself. This leads to a degradation of the dam. These are challenges that need to be addressed. For now, the reservoir is not available for public swimming. 

 

ok, ok- just had to add one more thing: I was a vocal opponent of building a golf course and a housing development in our watershed. The persistent flow of pollutants such as oil, gas, grease, fertilizer runoff into our surface water and the streams that feed our reservoirs could have had a serious impact on our water quality. We see those sorts of pollutants flow into the Jubilee wetland from the residential properties and roads above the community garden. That is a completely different issue than the one at hand. I meant to add that tidbit in the risk vs reward post. 

In addition, we test our water weekly at various locations in our water delivery system- from at the source, in the streams, in the reservoirs, in the pipes around town. If there are any issues we know about them almost immediately. 

Thank you for the clarification.  I can can certainly believe that 70% of polled people in Rossland would be against having swimming allowed FOR and event and NOT for local use.  I think most if not all of the community would be for allowing swimming in an unused resivoir, if it were for us, the people of Rossland to use, and not temporarily for an event.  Such was the case 3 years ago when we were in fact swimming in Ophir creek resivoir, peope were respectful, garbage was cleaned up and the area respected, until some young hooligans built a bike jump into the water, then the city was forced to close it off, which is totally and unfortunately justified from a risk managment and liability standpoint.  The point about the potential integrity of the dam structure being affect by people moving rocks is utterly ridiculous.  That's a machine built wall of rock some 50 feet high and at least 20 feet thick made of large clast rock far to big for people to move without machinery.

  I think the approval of use of the revivoir for an event is a good move, we're a tourist town and more events equal more people which equals more revenue for our small community.   But it terms of pleasing visitors and creating long term commerce and viabiity, would it not make sense to have a place to swim within a 10 min bike ride or 5 min drive from town?  It's a common comment from locals and visitors that the one big thing we lack here in Rossland during the summer months is a close and accessable swimming spot.  Nancy Greene is great, if you've got an extra hour to spend driving up and back to the lake.

  To say that allowing an event to use the resivoir for swimming but to put a large chainlink fence around it to keep locals out, then justify the decision based largely on the revenue of bringing an event to town, makes the discussion about dollars and cents.  I'm not a civil engineer and I'm sure there's logistics surrounding the use of the resivoir as a rec area, but  it seems like a small investment (garbage cans, tables, etc..) to give the community something that would really add to the summer experience here.  I doubt it would difficult to offset the cost longer term as an addition to summer toursim and community benefit.

  I think simply put, the question is "If they're allowed to use it,  then why aren't we?"  If there's no affect on the quality of the water, when we're not drinking it anyways, and the rocks aren't going anywhere.

Thanks for your comments Kathy Moore.

In response to your first point, I was quoting from the Rossland News article by John K. White (July 20 2017). The article stated the motion was passed unanimously. Thanks for correcting that information.

I appreciate City Council's goal of increasing visitors to Rossland throughout the year. And I personally think an off road triathalon would be an exciting event. Heck, I would probably either participate or volunteer to support the race!

My point is that swimming in the reservoir should be available to all, not just for an exclusive event.

If neither resevoir has been prepared to support public access to swimming, I think the work should be done to make one of the reservoirs safe and available for swimming for everyone before allowing a special event to occur.

Imagine how a fresh water swimming hole would enhance local and visitor's experience of Rossland in the summer!

As far as I am concerned it can't happen soon enough!

yes dylan, i have to agree. if it's safe and doesn't affect drinking water quality and doesn't have any issue with the integrity of the reservoir, it should be opened to everyone. let's give the benefit of a swimming hole to the community, not just a one time event.

yes dylan, i have to agree. if it's safe and doesn't affect drinking water quality and doesn't have any issue with the integrity of the reservoir, it should be opened to everyone. let's give the benefit of a swimming hole to the community, not just a one time event.

Allowing any swimming in the reservoir is a bad decision for a number of reasons. I assume the Ophir reservoir was built in anticipation of a future need. Drinking water needs to be of the utmost purity to avoid health risks. There are inherent risks already with the contaminents from animal exposure and the environment, why add to that by allowing people (fecal contaminents, lotions, swim diapers, erosion of the land which interferes with natural filtration of run off water, etc) into the equation. I have done a little search on the internet, and most recommendations are to not allow any type of human use in drinking water reservoirs. Yes, we have to drive 20 minutes to Nancy Greene or 15 minute to Gyro - poor us. We have great tasting, clear, clean water to drink.

So let's get this straight , you will allow people to pay a 35$ event fee to swim in the resevior. I pay 4000$ a year for taxes and I am not allowed to swim in it. I don't own a business in town, or a hotel, so what is the benifit for me? I have always thought it is crazy to have events on public trails and property , you charge a fee to the participants and the tax payers end up having to pay the bill to clean up, fix trails, filter water in reservoir. 

I'd have to back the mayor on the issue of contanimants and the ability of the water treatment plant.  I believe (but I may be mistaken) the city's treament plant uses ozone to treat the water which pretty much kills off everything, good and bad, in the water.  After which it's chlorinated according to federal regulations.  Pretty sure any study will find that the water is 100% potable.  I woud be more concerned with old rotting pipe and dated infrastructure than about quailty of water before treatment.  BTW there's also beaver that live, eat and sh*t periodically in both resevoirs.

  The other point I'd like to make is yes, Ophir creek was built for future development of the community, but has never been used, contaminants are a non-issue because nobody's drinking the water anyways.  I would totally agree that on average summers are getting hotter and the Star Guch resevoir does go down but it's never been an issue of not having enough water.  Water still flows into it all through summer, the same for Ophir creek.  I never say never, but I think it's unlikely that Rossland will ever boom to the point of not having enough water out of one resevoir.

Everyone benefits from events that bring people to a town  Even if you do not personally participate in the event or work directly in an industry affected by tourism. Rossland has worked to reinvent itself from mining to vacation and event destination. The population of Rossland alone could not support the downtown core of restaurants and business we currently enjoy. Local support keeps these business afloat, tourism and event tourism, make the hard work of running a small business a viable option. It pushes your business from break even to profitable. If you are putting in the time and commitment to run your own business you want it to turn a profit. If it doesn't start doing this you won't be in business very long. A full downtown helps to make Rossland a desirable place to call home. Tourism also helps these small business afford to employ full time residents, which means that people who have made Rossland their home can stay here and don't have to go elsewhere for work. That means a more stable population base to help share the tax burden of snow removal and other services. Events that use our fabulous outdoors, such as our extra resovior, are a fabulous way to create return tourism year after year. Introducing more people to our fabulous town and allowing our local small business owners and the people they employ to eek out a livelihood in the town they fell in love with. 

I too would like to swim in the resovoir, however I think it is reasonable to approve it for use in such an event, before the decision is made to open it up full time to residents. What better way to test the waters and prove that it can be a viable option as a local 'lake' And valuable assets for events that bring financial stability to our community. 

I am not up for drinking others' sweat, urine and other contributions to our system. Surface water is iffy at the best of times. If a 'swimming hole' is really needed then let's deal with that as a separate issue and build a swimmin' pond for those who want it (provided they pay for it!).

I am not up for drinking others' sweat, urine and other contributions to our system. Surface water is iffy at the best of times. If a 'swimming hole' is really needed then let's deal with that as a separate issue and build a swimmin' pond for those who want it (provided they pay for it!).

Hey all- this is a really good discussion and I greatly appreciate hearing all the points of view. Sometimes decisions are made opportunistically. The idea of a very small triathlon was presented to Council as a test. It could grow to be a bigger event, it might turn out not to be feasible. The bigger question of opening up one of the reservoirs permanently to everyone will take more consideration. As I said before, we have been considering creating a recreational swimming spot, and I'd love to see it happen but there is more work to be done on this concept and we've been busy with other projects and plans (that's how life happens, doesn't it?) so we haven't pursued this. With this suggestion by some local folks to create this event it seemed like a great opportunity to test it. This event will take place in Sept (not at Golden City Days) and will only have about 20-25 people competing. My guess is they will all be locals this year. Next year? Who knows. Thanks a lot for the respectful tone of this discussion. I really appreciate it. 

Hey all,

Bring your swimmin togs,

Bring your swimmin dogs,

Lets have a good old Swim-in at the reservoir to protest this discriminatory foolishness! (Buy your bottled water first!)

August 1 at noon.

It'll be fun to see how the city tries to justify discriminatory enforcement before the Court!

Mountain Mitch , I am in, I will not shower until then. Hopefully my shedding dreadlocks don't plug the filter system .

WTF, are you kidding me. Fire the council!!! Wake up, its not about tourisum CITYITS!!!

Trumped me on this one

I would love to swim in the reservoir everyday! What a joy it would be to wake up m, run and then swim. BUT nothing like a good Cryptosporidium infection to ruin your day! 

So, am I understanding correctly that the trial event has already been approved and is happening this September?? And this is happening without having consulted the community first?

I'm on the fence about this idea, and see validity in both sides. I think Sarah Elizabeth summed up extremely well how this could benefit our community, but I believe the community should have some say in this too.

I wonder how many people will be upset if the trial event has already been approved without community consultation.

There's an old saying in water and waste water treatment...dilution is the solution. Ideally, no person or animal or potential contaminant would be in our reservoir. In reality, it is unlikely that a single event where people have a short swim in the reservoir, will compromise our water quality....but continious everyday use where people are swimming in the reservoir.....thats a much higher frequency and volume of potential contaminants.

I don't think its reasonable to equate the two scenerios with respect to risk.

Don't conflate the science with the politics. The science is that I, and a select group of friends, could swim in the reservoir every day without likely compromising water quality. Why can't we? The politics is that it would be unjair and unjust for me and my buddies to do that. We didnt pay for it. Council shouldn't allow it. But why is my group any less deserving than any other group. We live here and are the backbone of support for local businesses - not just the extra cream of having a few tourists in town for a few days (although I note the mayor says they will be locals - kinda puts the spoke in the trickle down argument).

Council is the trustee for all of us who pay for water and paid for the reservoirs. They need to be fair. They can't just pick a group they want to benefit (and I won't address the 'trickle down' nonsense or speculate on why a particular group is favoured) and say 'here you go' - leaving those of us who OWN the reservoirs to sit in the heat and pay those taxes! If we don't need Ophir for drinking: great - let's open it for swimming for all and sell the water in the winter to Red for snow making. But no 'special favours' to one group. 

If Council won't listen, or has decided without our input, then my semi- facetious suggestion of a swim-in or other protest may be the only method to get their attention.

There was a post on the Rossland Talks Facebook page from someone indicating that this would be a small local event.  A local only event results in zero economic incentive for the City.  Council members should consider this event for next year after they have the ability to complete their environmental impact assessent of allowing any group of people to swim in the reservoir.  Just my two cents...

ah yes, well one thing being overlooked is that the event will be held in the reservoir that is not being used for drinking water so all the health comments are a bit irrelevant at this point. The fairness argument has legs. But, as I tried to explain before, the idea of holding this event came before we really got down to business about looking at the feasibility of using the UNUSED reservoir as a PERMANENT recreation site. We need to do some more work to determine if it makes sense. One big issue is that we spend a lot of money supporting recreation in our town for the benefit of all and adding another recreation facility will have costs. For that discussion there would be an opportunity for plenty of public engagement and consultation as well as an inquiry into costs- both operational and capital as well as the benefits. And of course, getting to the nub of the issue: Does the community support the idea. The small event is being planned as a test,  but, it could develop into something bigger). Words that seem to be getting ignored in the fray are "unused reservoir" and "test event". No permanent changes are being contemplated at this time. We have more work to do.  I am as strong an advocate as anyone out there for protecting our drinking water but this is not that water so hopefully everyone can just chill out. (pun intended) :)

Also, its important to remember that with our system we can use either reservoir by flipping some control valves. If we allowed swimming in the reservoir that we weren't using for domestic purposes but then decided we needed that water, we could prohibit recreational activity and change the valving thus converting the reservoir back to domestic use. This might happen due to climate change, population growth or for fire surpression or any other reason for that matter. These are not irrevocable decisions. AND just so no  one gets the wrong idea, no longterm decisions have been made on this matter other than the short term decision to allow a one day event to happen in Sept.

COUNCIL SHOULD NOT EVEN CONSIDER THIS WITHOUT EVERYBODY IN TOWN BEING ABLE TO VOTE ON THE SUBJECT. THATS HOW IMPORTANT OUR WATER IS.  ITS OFF THE TABLE AND IT SHOULD BE KEPT OFF THE TABLE. THIS SHOULD NOT EVEN BE OPEN FOR ANY KIND OF DISCUSSION...PERIOD. ITS REDICULOUS. WHAT A TERRIBLE LACK OF JUDGEMENT.

COUNCIL SHOULD NOT EVEN CONSIDER THIS WITHOUT EVERYBODY IN TOWN BEING ABLE TO VOTE ON THE SUBJECT. THATS HOW IMPORTANT OUR WATER IS.  ITS OFF THE TABLE AND IT SHOULD BE KEPT OFF THE TABLE. THIS SHOULD NOT EVEN BE OPEN FOR ANY KIND OF DISCUSSION...PERIOD. ITS REDICULOUS. WHAT A TERRIBLE LACK OF JUDGEMENT.

....and on top of that why does city council think that the few people that post on here are the voice of the town. Most taxpayers want to mind there own business, pay their taxes and expect that council will run the town with EVERYBODYS best interest at heart.

The mayor should stay off of bhubble because it is really skewing her idea of what most people actually want. Being Mayor is about knowing what everybody in town wants and needs, intuitively, but also keeping to the principals laid out across 150 years of this country being around. Most of this guide to running this town has been done for you in 100 years of Rossland writing by-laws. I understand we need to be progressive but we stilll need to keep the core intact. 

In what sense is this a "test event"? Is it a test of whether the citizens of Rossland are prepared to allow a Council to favour certain other citizens or groups? Whether the water will be polluted which, as you say, is irrelevant?  About turning this into a recreation pond (what relevant data will be generated)? Sounds like back-filling to me!

It isn't just about a one day event. It is about the decision to favour one event/groupwhile the rest of the citizens are being ignored. I have no knowledge why or how this decision was reached. I do not know who (specifically) benefits. I know it is not the majority that paid for this white elephant in the first place.

Perhaps this tempest in a teacup can spur reconsideration of the irrational prohibition on recreational use of our reservoirs. Obviously there are many concerns, and a few real issues, but wouldn't it be great if we could come together to come up with solutions based on sensible consideration of the evidence (we have a very capable water treatment system, sensibly managed recreational use is not a consequential source of contaminants, Ophir isn't actually online) to create somewhere accessible and affordable for all of us to swim on a hot day. 

CAPS LOCK and no spell check. Two indicators of a reasonable discussion post.

Short term daytime play ultimately evolves into extended stays. Then we’ll hear requests about where’s the toilet? Look at all the trash left behind. Disturbing the ecosystems. More bears in town, etc. etc. etc.

We are fortunate to have to two drinking water sources that can be isolated from the treatment system if needed. The chirping about not allowing others to play unless I can play comes direct from the school yard.

Consultation with qualified professionals and the Health Authority on allowing any recreational activity in a city drinking water source is recommended. Maybe the city and organizers have already done so. City policies should be derived from public needs, like clean drinking water, rather than wants and desires. If swimming in the reservoir isn’t an allowed use, we’re creative enough to find alternatives for a hosting a triathlon in the mountains.

In regards to Kathy Moore commenting on this social media page, she is allowed to like anyone else. The fact that the Mayor is commenting outside of a council meeting is irrelevant. Kudos to reading an ‘inside’ opinion. It’s an excellent source for increasing the knowledge and understanding the discussion topic. I’d like to read more ‘inside’ opinions as these threads very easily wander off topic.

Agree with Howser. Let's get some technical perspectives on the impact on the water. However, since the reservoir is currently off-line, I'm unclear as to why water quality is an issue unless we have a water shortage and need to bring it on-line. Furthermore, we have a $7M treatment plant that manages microbials, et al. So again, do people (and dogs) upstream make the water coming out of the plant unsafe, or is that simply an emotional response by some? 

A swimming spot would fill in an important but missing piece to Rossland's quality of life. This town has almost everything it needs but a natural place to swim and cool down. Yes, it would take some capital to make it work. Cap the dam with topsoil and seed? A set of stairs down to a floating dock? We could place some porta-johns as an interim fix for a short term trial period. 

The rewards of having this new recreation assetts would be worth a close look. I 'd like to see a comprehensive plan that looks at everything. Impact on water quality, a budgetary plan to make the site attractive & safe, plus a projection of the benefits (how many people would use it, amount of gas saved driving to Nancy Greene). 

I think back to when the Centennial tunnel was put in place. At the time, it seemed to some like a quirky waste of money, but I'd suggest that project has made a huge postive impact in people's lives -residents and visitors alike. 

 

Milty: Seeing as how you're an expert on our water treatment plant perhaps you'd like to go into detail how it works? You, Aaron and Kathy can also provide a precedent where other communities in BC have circumvented the BC Drinking Water Protection Act? Your glib reassurances that it's all good hold absolutely no scientific merit. Why are we not defaulting to people with proper credentials to determine if this is sensible? If you are so certain get the IHA and BCDWPA enforement officers to sign off on it. You do that, I might be on board....

   If you are like me in thinking this is abject stupidity I'd recommend voicing your concerns to the Interior Health Authority 1-855-743-3550 and the enforcment officer at the BC Drinking Water Protection Act, (250) 952-1330. If the mayor, council and their cabal of entitled friends persist without scientific vetting I'd suggest planning a peaceful protest and calling the RCMP to enforce the no tresspassing during the event.

By what authority is the reservoir closed to public swimming?

This endeavour seems like a can of worms- if special interest groups can use it for swimming then why would a local not be welcome to? What penalty would exist if I was to swim there? All of the arguments to support swimming in the reservoir have been provided in this thread by council.

In a triathlon there are also running and biking. Are we unable to incorporate Nancy Greene lake which is 27km from downtown? Perhaps it isn't an ironman- but 27k isn't impossible- bike up and run back part way?

I can understand why it seems unfair to test this on a group of people who would never have even thought to swim here otherwise. In my opinion more work is needed to look at the possibilities and also the implications. Tourism is definitely important but so are lifelong citizens of Rossland who have never been allowed this opportunity.

 

http://www.justracinguk.com/new-triathlon/triathlon-race-distances

Unless this event is only a super sprint Nancy Greene is quite viable.

Sometimes I think Bhubble is turning into the "Endless List of Complaints, Sarcasm and Cheap Shots."

Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.

"This event will take place in Sept (not at Golden City Days) and will only have about 20-25 people competing. My guess is they will all be locals this year."

= zero(0) benefits to the rossland economy

good job contradicting your own arguments on economic development @Kathy Moore

maybe next year it will be huge, right?

personally, i don't care if people swim in the unused reservoir. collectively, we should all be upset with city council for their double standards.

 

@Kathy Moore, you have avoided the points people made about the 70% NO on the poll. I know that you think it's irrelevant because "It's not our main source of drinking water" but the people voted no, and the council trumped them and voted yes. The reason most people have been so happy while you've been mayor is because you try to involve the community in very valuable ways. You send out great news letters and hold town meetings and such. You really get the residents of our town involved in most decisions. You listened to the issues regarding traffic on one way streets, bear awareness, snow removal, and dog parking stations. However, this seems like a decision based on very little economic growth rather than the support of the community. 25 locals swimming in a backup reservoir aren't going to "greatly contribute to Rossland's community". Do I think it's a good idea? I'm not a scientist, so I have no idea what the impact would be regardless of if it is a backup or not, so I don't really have an opinion. What throws me off guard is the blatant disregard for the vote of the tax payers in this community. Repeatedly saying "it won't affect our drinking water" is just a different way of saying "I'm hearing you, but what we think is more important". I'm hopeful that this will be the only time our city government will ignore our complaints for the benefit of a sporting event.

 

My original post asked the question: ? How will Rossland City Council rationalize sanctioning swimming in the reservoir for an exclusive few, when the reservoir will continue to be closed for swimming to the general population. 
 
Mayor Kathy Moore has answered that question rather thoroughly. However, it seems there are more than a few Rossland residents who don't accept or agree with her many rationalizations. 
 
This discussion has definitely exposed  a multitude of arguments supporting the bigger idea of a swimming hole near town. There were a few suggestions of the potential financial gains, which seems to be a necessary argument to catch the interest of City Council. Additionally, there was a suggestion to include in the assessment a look at the amount of gas saved from  Rossland residents driving to the lake, and in essence to the reduction of the environmental impact of said driving.  ( I've just spent a few days at Christina Lake, shopping, and thereby supporting the businesses here, when I could have been spending my money in Rossland. Just saying...)
 
In her  3rd post, Kathy Moore referenced a report commissioned by a previous City Council to explore the feasibility of opening swimming in the reservoir, "but more work needs to be done... That  has not happened yet but it probably will."  
 
This seems like a good time to bring the issue to City Council and get a commitment to do due diligence in assessing the 'risks and rewards' of opening a reservoir to swimming.  But the real deal is for City Council to come up with a plan for what will be an invaluable asset to the recreational opportunities for locals, tourists, and competitors in special events. 
 
Once council can show Rossland a plan with a real timeline, then a special event may be acceptable before everything is complete.  Telling us ' it will probably happen'  doesn't sound good enough. Until then, the reservoir should be open or closed to swimming. Period. 
 
The tone of Kathy Moore's posts are 'she hears us', but the request for the off road triathlon swim has already been approved by council with a follow up from city staff regarding the health risks. And that's that.
 
So given the double standard apparent in Kathy Moore's posts,  I for one will show up at  the Ophir reservoir for a swim at noon on August 1st.  See you then Mountain Mitch

 

My original post asked the question: ? How will Rossland City Council rationalize sanctioning swimming in the reservoir for an exclusive few, when the reservoir will continue to be closed for swimming to the general population. 
 
Mayor Kathy Moore has answered that question rather thoroughly. However, it seems there are more than a few Rossland residents who don't accept or agree with her many rationalizations. 
 
This discussion has definitely exposed  a multitude of arguments supporting the bigger idea of a swimming hole near town. There were a few suggestions of the potential financial gains, which seems to be a necessary argument to catch the interest of City Council. Additionally, there was a suggestion to include in the assessment a look at the amount of gas saved from  Rossland residents driving to the lake, and in essence to the reduction of the environmental impact of said driving.  ( I've just spent a few days at Christina Lake, shopping, and thereby supporting the businesses here, when I could have been spending my money in Rossland. Just saying...)
 
In her  3rd post, Kathy Moore referenced a report commissioned by a previous City Council to explore the feasibility of opening swimming in the reservoir, "but more work needs to be done... That  has not happened yet but it probably will."  
 
This seems like a good time to bring the issue to City Council and get a commitment to do due diligence in assessing the 'risks and rewards' of opening a reservoir to swimming.  But the real deal is for City Council to come up with a plan for what will be an invaluable asset to the recreational opportunities for locals, tourists, and competitors in special events. 
 
Once council can show Rossland a plan with a real timeline, then a special event may be acceptable before everything is complete.  Telling us ' it will probably happen'  doesn't sound good enough. Until then, the reservoir should be open or closed to swimming. Period. 
 
The tone of Kathy Moore's posts are 'she hears us', but the request for the off road triathlon swim has already been approved by council with a follow up from city staff regarding the health risks. And that's that.
 
So given the double standard apparent in Kathy Moore's posts,  I for one will show up at  the Ophir reservoir for a swim at noon on August 1st.  See you then Mountain Mitch

Hello all- well, this topic has certainly gotten a lot of attention! I am not quite sure where to begin but maybe I should take the advice of one poster and stay off the site and just govern by "divine intuition"...or whatever. I realize that people are passionate about this issue and in retrospect I can see we went about this the wrong way. We should have done what we intended to do which was to get a task force together of knowledgeable folks on both sides of the issue to look in more depth at the feasibility of turning one of the reservoirs into a recreational site. BUT, we didn't.

We were approached to approve a one day event that would be small, to test the concept and we agreed once we determined safety of the water and which rez would be appropriate. IH has told us there is not a water safety issue. Staff has said that Ophir is the best because an event in Star Gulch would create silt problems for the filtration system. So with those concerns out of the way in regards to the one day event it didn't seem to be the giant issue that it has become. My bad for not knowing how wild people were going to be on this. I apologize for that.

My intent is to strike that task force in Sept to explore the possibility of a permanent site. I can only say its a possibility because its a council decision and I am only one member of council. There are a lot of things that will need to be looked at: parking, sanitation, access to the water, maintaining the integrity of the rock, ease of converting back to a domestic water source should it be needed in the future, liability, security etc. The long term decision needs some careful thought and some serious public consultation. It may not be possible. Or maybe it will. Time will tell.

The decision to allow a one day, controlled event is a completely different conversation. Yes, if the trial was successful it could grow to be a well supported event that benefits the community. Or not. It was never intended that the small, local trial event of 20-25 people this year was going to provide an economic advantage to the community. That would only happen if it became a sucessful event at some future date which might or might not ever happen.

I know its hard to convey these nuances in a post but really, this is not rocket science. Decision #1: to allow a one day event in a reservoir that is not being used. Decison #2 We are talking about examining whether we could make that unused reservoir a permanent site- much bigger question that will take more time. Please don't confuse the two. To those folks who are adament that we should be consulting the community on the decision to allow a one day event, I suggest you come to all council meetings because we regularly make decisions that have a far bigger impact on this community than that one. I hope this helps clarify a few things. Again, I appreciate the civil nature of most of the remarks.

Thanks to all who shared their  thoughts on swimming in the reservoir 

Thank you Mayor Kathy Moore for giving us the perspective of Rossland City Council.

I also thank you Ms. Moore for your willingness to admit that Council went about this the wrong way. I think it takes a a 'bigger' person to admit to an error. 

And thank you for advising us that in September you will strike a task force to explore the possibility of a permanent swimming spot for Rossland. I appreciate your responsiveness to how passionate people in Rossland are about having an accessible swimming hole. 

Indigome- You are most welcome! This conversation about the permanent use of the reservoir as a swimming hole will continue. It will include the community so everyone stay tuned! I'd like to say the task force idea was based on this passionate discussion but actually its been on our "to do" list for awhile and we just haven't gotten to it. So many other juicy projects on our plate! That said, this discussion (and the request to have a one day event) has certainly motivated me to bring it forward now. 

    Kathy: Unable to post photos, perhaps you can tell everyone what the exact wording is on the signs surrounding the Center Star Gulch. The ones that read "ABSOLUTELY no pets or persons" could you please elaborate on what the city's enforcement policies are. There are also no tresspassing signs with "violaters will be prosecuted" as well could you clarify the statutes which these refer.

   I called the IHA Friday July 30 and they were unaware of the city's intensions (I have e-mail stating this, as well as noting your change of plans), can you explain why you didn't contact them before the decision was made? What qualifications/certifications do you possess that entitle you to make this decision? Did I miss something in your C.V.? Does this not contravene the BC Drinking Water Protection Act? How do you rationalize allowing certain people to break laws you are supposed to enforce? Is this not illegal?

   I don't think you're a "bigger" person for admitting yours'  and councils'  transgressions. I think this warrants a criminal investigation. What other laws are you letting the "privileged" break? You boast about protecting our drinking water from a golf course, yet you and council have allowed how much timber to be removed from Topping Creek? Care to provide some information on who the forester, engineer, lay-out technicians, contractors, etc...were and whether that work would have been compliant with comparable work in BC's Operable Land Base? Volumes, species, etc? How exactly did you ensure they didn't spill oil, grease or hydraulic fluid? Is the documentaion available to view?



   Anyone in our age of warming climate and the fact we reside in forest that will eventually burn (no hazard at all right now, eh?), that puts convenient recreation/tourism over having redundancy in our sources of drinking water should be placed into a remedial science class and banned from holding any public office.

Your decision #1 is a lie. You approved Center Star Gulch. How about putting Decision #2 on a referendum, or has that decision already been made?

Regarding attending council meetings, I already have two jobs, why should I have to show up and make sure you do yours?

 

I'd recommend people educate themselves on BC's Drinking Water Protection Act and your rights contained within. The contact for the IHA is:

  Pouria Mojtahedi, B.Sc, B.Tech, CPHI(C)

Specialist Environmental Health Officer

Interior Health-Health Protection

2nd Floor-333 Victoria St, Nelson, BC. V1L 4K3

Bus: (250) 505-7234, Cell: (250)-551-1911, Fax: (250) 505-7211


   You delusions of "governing by divine intuition" ...really?  You might want to have someone explain the Dunning-Kruger effect....

Mike J.

I also understand, on good authority, that it would only take one good fire in town to deplete a large volume of water from either of our reservoir and necessitate the need for the other to go on line.

Mike J. aka Ivan- You are incorrect on many levels but I am sure there is nothing I can say to change your mind. I would like to remind you that we are referring to a reservoir that is not being used thus is not our a risk to our drinking water. You are incorrect about what council actually approved at our meeting. You are incorrect: Our Staff has spoken with IHA. As you can imagine, there a number of people who work there and its unlikely they all know who everyone speaks with.  If you would like to come meet with me I'd be happy to talk with you face to face. I find most people are more polite in that situation. Hopefully that is true of you too if your intent is to actually get information and express your concerns. If your intent is to slag me and Council and City staff, by all means this is your best forum. Its hard on a site like Bhubble when its not monitored to have civil discourse. Its also hard to convey humour in post. "divine intuitition" referred to someone else's post some days back. 

Mike J.  Disappointed to see you take this thread to a new level of meanness, disrespect, and bad writing.

 
Kathy M. Thanks for your involvement and balanced responses to the likes of the above.

If you would like to come meet with me I'd be happy to talk with you face to face.

Anytime, Kathy. Let me know where and when.

PM me here.

Mike J.

 

Scotfor: Drinking water is absolutely crucial to life. Recreation and convenience not so much. Perhaps passion about this issue has clouded my sense of decorum, however, I stand by my opinions. You can always sit me down sometime and straighten me out, looking forward to you "enlightening" me.

 

 

Hi Mike J aka Ivan. I will now show my technological ignorance: I don't know how to PM on bhubble but my email is mayor@rossland.ca. Let's set up a meeting at City Hall next week. How does your schedule look? Just so everyone knows, I am available to meet with anyone who has questions or concerns about anything to do with the city, not just those writing in annonymous forums. :)

Just to open the debate again,  so council approved useof the resivoir for swimming in relation to an event that may or may not directly benift the community.  So what about opening it for swimming during an event that would benefit both people and businesses in the community with long term potential of increased benfits?  A summer music festival.  It's something that Rossland has the potential to put on and be succesful with, other small kootenay communities are doing the same (Slocan-Unity, Kaslo Jazz fest, Grand Forks Cannifest, that little thing called Shambhala, there's ample space at Blackjack that's far enough out of town for noise, large enough to accomodate stages and campers, but unfortunately is right next to a large body of water that's off limits.  It would be nearly impossible to keep people out of it on a hot summer day right next to it, but if it were open to swimming, the space up there would lend itself to a potentail summer arts and music festival.  Thoughts?

 

No thank you. Swimming with people half cut doing God knows what with their body functions and fluids.... umm... no.

Fine, you're not invited.

Gosh, I'm almost afraid to say anything on this thread, but....if you are hot and fancy a dip in some cool refreashing water outside, we have a lovely pool in town.  Maybe you should try it?

 

Gosh, I'm almost afraid to say anything on this thread, but....if you are hot and fancy a dip in some cool refreashing water outside, we have a lovely pool in town.  Maybe you should try it?

 

Two reasons:

1.) My taxes pay for the upkeep of said pool which I do believe is a valuable resource to this town, but I'm still required to pay each time I use it, if my property tax receipt gave me use of a municipal property then I might use it except

2.)Chlorine is gross and I detest swimming in it.

As a newcomer to Rossland I am a bit confused. I have only seen Star Gulch, which I thought was the reservoir that is in use, and has the signs about no swimming, etc. This is the name of the reservoir that appears in the news as being used for the event. I haven't seen Ophir yet, which from the thread appears to be not currently used, but then again that is not the one that is being used for the event either. 

Could someone just quickly clarify for me? Thanks

 

 

As a newcomer to Rossland I am a bit confused. I have only seen Star Gulch, which I thought was the reservoir that is in use, and has the signs about no swimming, etc. This is the name of the reservoir that appears in the news as being used for the event. I haven't seen Ophir yet, which from the thread appears to be not currently used, but then again that is not the one that is being used for the event either. 

Could someone just quickly clarify for me? Thanks

 

 

As a newcomer to Rossland I am a bit confused. I have only seen Star Gulch, which I thought was the reservoir that is in use, and has the signs about no swimming, etc. This is the name of the reservoir that appears in the news as being used for the event. I haven't seen Ophir yet, which from the thread appears to be not currently used, but then again that is not the one that is being used for the event either. 

Could someone just quickly clarify for me? Thanks

 

 

As a newcomer to Rossland I am a bit confused. I have only seen Star Gulch, which I thought was the reservoir that is in use, and has the signs about no swimming, etc. This is the name of the reservoir that appears in the news as being used for the event. I haven't seen Ophir yet, which from the thread appears to be not currently used, but then again that is not the one that is being used for the event either. 

Could someone just quickly clarify for me? Thanks

 

 

As a newcomer to Rossland I am a bit confused. I have only seen Star Gulch, which I thought was the reservoir that is in use, and has the signs about no swimming, etc. This is the name of the reservoir that appears in the news as being used for the event. I haven't seen Ophir yet, which from the thread appears to be not currently used, but then again that is not the one that is being used for the event either. 

Could someone just quickly clarify for me? Thanks

 

 

As a newcomer to Rossland I am a bit confused. I have only seen Star Gulch, which I thought was the reservoir that is in use, and has the signs about no swimming, etc. This is the name of the reservoir that appears in the news as being used for the event. I haven't seen Ophir yet, which from the thread appears to be not currently used, but then again that is not the one that is being used for the event either. 

Could someone just quickly clarify for me? Thanks

 

 

As a newcomer to Rossland I am a bit confused. I have only seen Star Gulch, which I thought was the reservoir that is in use, and has the signs about no swimming, etc. This is the name of the reservoir that appears in the news as being used for the event. I haven't seen Ophir yet, which from the thread appears to be not currently used, but then again that is not the one that is being used for the event either. 

Could someone just quickly clarify for me? Thanks

 

 

As a newcomer to Rossland I am a bit confused. I have only seen Star Gulch, which I thought was the reservoir that is in use, and has the signs about no swimming, etc. This is the name of the reservoir that appears in the news as being used for the event. I haven't seen Ophir yet, which from the thread appears to be not currently used, but then again that is not the one that is being used for the event either. 

Could someone just quickly clarify for me? Thanks

 

 

Bhubble is slow at uploading comments but it is enough to click Save only once at the end of the post, otherwise you end up posting your comment as many times as the times you clocked Save. 8 times is quite a record.

As far as I know it is possible to delete the original post but not the comments, right?

Oops. I don't remember pressing the button that many times, but I can't see how to delete anything. If anyone knows how to do it please let me know and I will delete. Thanks

 

The organizers have voluntarily withdrawn the proposal to use Ophir, in light of the controversy.  They have made the event a quadrathalon involving a road bike to town from Nancy Greene Lake.

@newrosslander: Ophir is our secondary reservoir.  It's up at the Blackjack cross-country ski area.  The original news story said the event would use Star Gulch, but the City hadn't actually specified yet at press time, and on consultation with public works went with Ophir instead. 

That's excellent -Nancy Greene seemed like a good fit to me. I saw a gigantic moose in Ophir the other morning. I was absolutely awestruck...pretty magical place.