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Many of Castlegar’s floral displays damaged by watering mistake

A tank with calcium chloride residue was mistakenly used to water the flowers
Castlegar’s Communities in Bloom team puts in countless hours beautifying the city. Pictured are Darlene Kalawsky and Kelsey Krauss. Photo: Jennifer Small

Submitted by City of Castlegar

Many of Castlegar’s floral displays have died or are showing signs of distress following an error in watering practices.

The city believes some displays were impacted after being watered by a truck that had been used for dust control. One vehicle is used for both services as a standard practice. After dust control is complete, the tank is emptied and washed out so it can be used for flower watering. In this case, it appears there was a concentration of calcium chloride that did not get flushed from the tank and was transferred to the floral displays during the watering process.

“We are very upset about the impact this has on the beautiful plants throughout the City of Castlegar,” says Chris Hallam, the city’s director of municipal services. “This is devastating for our extremely dedicated and hard-working Communities in Bloom volunteers who create and nurture these displays each year and for our staff who maintain them. Everyone involved takes a lot of pride in these displays.”

Since the issue was identified, the city has been working diligently with Communities in Bloom volunteers to minimize the impact and preserve as many of the flowers and planters as possible. Some planters, including those in the south end of the city, were not impacted.

City staff are assessing procedures and will be making adjustments to ensure this does not happen again.

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