UBCO Finance and Operations News

Students Choose To Keep Their U-Pass

On November 18, students at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus voted to keep their Universal Bus Pass (U-PASS) at a new fee.

Emergency Procedures and Information

ShakeOut BC – Earthquake Preparedness

Drop, Cover and Hold!

UBC’s Okanagan campus is encouraged to participate in ShakeOut BC on October 20 at 10:20 a.m. by practicing “Drop, Cover and Hold” or, at a minimum, learn what to do in the event of an earthquake.  The Vancouver campus will be participating in the event.

ShakeOut BC is the largest earthquake drill in Canadian history. Earlier this year, more than 470,000 people participated in the first ShakeOut BC. The annual drill is the third Thursday of October.

Even though there haven’t been large earthquakes along the coast in recent years, small earthquakes happen often. More than 1,200 are recorded each year across the province.

More about ShakeOut BC on UBC’s Okanagan campus

Sustainable Community Development Internal Grant Forum

On the October 26, the Okanagan Sustainability Office is celebrating, discussing and sharing outcomes from three successful research projects awarded from this internal grant!


Sustainable Transportation

Reducing emissions from transportation is becoming easier at UBC’s Okanagan campus. Behaviour change initiatives like the UPass program, anti-idling, car-pooling and electric vehicle charging stations offer faculty, staff and students sustainable transportation options. The introduction of the City of Kelowna ProPass program offers faculty and staff a reduced rate on their monthly bus pass.


Seasonal Influenza Vaccine

“When it’s flu time, don’t get caught! Protect yourself with a $5.00 shot!”  Plus a donation for the Student Food Bank

Health, Safety & Environment in partnership with Health & Wellness & the School of Nursing, are coordinating the seasonal influenza clinics for the campus community this year.

The flu shot will be offered to all faculty, staff and students.  The availability of the vaccine is limited so come early!

For those individuals who are eligible for the publicly funded vaccine, visit www.interiorhealth.ca for local dates and times.

Flu clinic dates: 

November 2 & 10, 2011

10:00 am to 2:00 pm

Administration Building, Upper Foyer

For further information regarding clinics or the occupational health program, please visit: www.ubc.ca/Okanagan/hse  or contact the Occupational Health Nurse at 250-807-8867

Progressive Storm Water Handling Creates Unique Pond Habitat


Storm Water Retention Pond

Birds, insects and an abundance of other wildlife can be found in and around the storm water retention pond on campus.


Cleaner water, a healthy new pond habitat, and a natural-looking amenity are among the benefits of UBC’s ongoing commitment to progressive storm water handling on the Okanagan campus.

Since 1991, campus storm water has been directed to a small, artificial retention pond with a sealed liner bed on the east side of campus, near the new Engineering-Management-Education Complex.  Rather than putting the water into the City of Kelowna’s storm water system, the human-made pond was designed to look and function like a natural pond, and effectively treat storm water pollutants through evaporation and natural biological processes. 

The results can be readily seen by anyone walking the Old Pond Trail, which skirts the pond. Dense cattails are thriving around the pond, sheltering a variety of waterfowl and other bird species.

Over the past 20 years, sediment carried to the pond by the storm water has accumulated to the point where it was affecting pond water quality and system function.

An engineering study commissioned by the office of the AVP Administration and Finance in May 2010 determined that pond water quality and the ability to treat incoming water would be improved by the expansion of a forebay — a space around the inlet pipe that acts as a sediment-settling area and allows future silt removal and servicing without encroaching on the larger retention pond area and its growing new wildlife habitat. 

Forebay of Stormwater Retention Pond

The forebay allows sediment to settle out of storm water before it flows into the pond. In future, accumulated sediment can be removed from the forebay without affecting the adjacent pond.

Maintaining the retention pond’s functional integrity also meant removing accumulated sediment, adding aeration and planting vegetation native to natural wetland areas.

Wildlife and habitat biologists reviewed and advised on the plan. 

Sediment removal and forebay construction then proceeded carefully in March 2011 under the care of an environmental monitor to advise on environmental issues and best management practices. Construction was timed to ensure minimal disturbance to aquatic life cycles. 

Before the upgrade project, dissolved oxygen concentrations in the top layer of the pond were sufficient for aquatic life. Deeper in the water the concentrations were sufficient but limiting to aquatic life. Testing will be done soon (2011) to determine if the oxygen concentrations have improved.

Because storm water flows over roads and parking areas, pollutants are often carried into any storm water system.  But UBC Health, Safety and Environment staff recently measured gasoline and oil hydrocarbons in the pond, and noted that concentrations were well below provincial contaminated sites guidelines and met the Canadian Council of Ministers for the Environment (CCME) guidelines for oil and grease.

During construction of the new forebay area adjacent to the retention pond, care was taken to support the newly created environment. Silt curtains were used to prevent new sediments from affecting the adjacent pond. Noxious weed species in the retention pond were removed by hand pulling — no chemicals were used. Control of noxious weeds is required under the BC Weed Control Act, and hand-weeding allows an environmentally friendly method of control.

A variety of native non-horticultural seeds and shrubs were planted, creating vegetated banks around the retention pond’s north shore to both reduce erosion and closely mimic a natural habitat. Where vegetation isn’t quite enough to control erosion, coconut matting has also been used on the ground.

The forebay settling area and the additional vegetation planted as part of the project will combine to remove much of the future sediment before water ever reaches the pond.

The retention pond’s performance in managing storm water and the state of the new ecosystems is it supporting, will continue to be monitored. Sediment samples will be sent to a commercial lab each year to ensure that metals are not accumulating in the pond, and during spring run-off season field testing will monitor pH, turbidity and check for the presence of floating hydrocarbon contaminates — gasoline and oil — in the pond water.

Any one interested in more information on this interesting engineering feature on our campus should call the Department of Health, Safety and Environment at 250-807-8624.

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Expansion of HSE’s Occupational Health Program

Occupational Health Program set to launch in June

Can the workplace impact employees’ health? Can employees’ health impact the workplace? Health, Safety and Environment is launching a new Occupational Health Program (OHP) in June.

The program — a series of proactive strategies to eliminate or minimize health risks associated with exposure to blood and body fluids, airborne contaminants, chemicals or biological agents — will begin with respiratory protection and immunizations for high-risk groups on campus.

The services provided in the new program include:

  • Immunization
  • Ergonomic assessments
  • Health assessment and monitoring
  • Human blood, body fluid and infectious agent exposure follow up
  • Medical advice for animal handlers
  • Respiratory protection health assessment and testing

As the program develops other groups will be added and services will be further expanded. All services in the Occupational Health Program are provided to employees at no charge. To enroll in the program, or find out more, visit the HSE website.

Welding Safety Seminar

Your Invited! Welding Safety Seminar (free, 1-day, in the ballroom, June 1st) – Partnership between WorkSafeBC, Acklands Grainger, and HSE.  Open to the community.  See http://www.ubc.ca/okanagan/hse/__shared/assets/welderssafety25150.pdf to register.