Stump Lake residents still battling high water levels

Area M director David Laird said the lake is 12 feet higher than it was in 2017, and the problem dates back a century

Residents continue to battle high water at Stump Lake, located about 40 minutes south of Kamloops.

On Thursday, during the Thompson Nicola Regional District’s board meeting, the board heard of the dire situation faced by some on the lake this spring.

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TNRD Area M (Nicola Valley North) director David Laird said the issue has been ongoing since 2017, but is worse this year.

“It’s even more impacted this year because of the amount of water the freshet brought down and the amount of rain we’ve had in the last two or three weeks,” Laird said. “The whole surface of the lake has actually risen approximately 12 feet above where it was in 2017.”

Laird said the water has affected between six and eight properties “quite severely,” as well as lake frontage. He said the province has raised Highway 5A, as water levels have risen.

Stump Lake residents apparently plan to come before the board in July, however it’s not clear what can be done by the regional district.

Laird said a consultant was hired in recent years to investigate the potential for removing water from the lake. The issue, he said, dates back a century, at which time a berm was apparently constructed at the lake. Information about who placed the berm is not available, Laird said, but the consultant’s report noted the berm could be removed to improve the situation.

“At that time, there was no action,” Laird said. “It required a local improvement area with 100 per cent of the property owners taking part in the local improvement area, which wouldn’t happen because people that live on a hill won’t support people that live by a lake.”

Laird said he and Area N (Nicola Valley South) director Herb Graham have met with residents, along with TNRD staff. Meetings have been ongoing in recent years.

“We’ve gone above and beyond what is required by local government,” Laird said. “We desperately need support from the provincial government.”

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