District planning to protect Invermere water supply

A plan to protect one of Invermere's drinking water sources has been completed.

A plan to protect one of Invermere’s drinking water sources has been completed and the protective measures it outlines will likely affect a number of local landowners and businesses. In order to provide information to community members about the plan and begin a discussion on the potential impacts, the District of Invermere (DOI) will be hosting a community information session on Tuesday (September 18) and DOI mayor Gerry Taft hopes to see the majority of the community come out for it.

“Making sure we can continue to provide safe drinking water for people in our region has to be a top priority for all of us,” Taft said in a release. “It’s not something the district can accomplish on its own. It’s a responsibility everyone in the region carries so we’re hoping to see a lot of community interest.”

The district currently has two sources for drinking water. The Paddy Ryan Reservoirs store surface water obtained from the Goldie Creek watershed while a well drilled into an aquifer — an underground  layer of permeable rock that contains water — in the Athlamer area in 2006 provides the district with groundwater.

“The main reason for the second source was to improve water quality without having to fund a water filtration plant,” DOI chief administrative officer Chris Prosser told The Echo in an email. “The second reason was to increase capacity for the community and to have two sources to provide supply protection in case of contamination or declining water supply.”

The district recently completed drinking water source assessment protection plans for both sources, and while a surface water protection plan has been completed, the main focus of the community session will be the protection plan for groundwater.

“There is no requirement for an open house on the surface source protection due to its location, however it will be open for discussion the open house,” said Prosser.

But community co-operation and feedback will be required to protect Athalmer’s groundwater source because the plan’s recommendations could have a wide-ranging effect on nearby property owners and industrial uses in the aquifer’s protection zone, he said.

A risk evaluation by the district identified a number of potential risks to the drinking water source including old or abandoned wells, or wells that don’t meet current standards, and contaminants introduced to the ground as a result of commercial or industrial land uses.

“In order to effectively protect the water source in Athalmer, we need to ensure that property owners are aware of the potential impacts of drilling wells and disposing of contaminating materials,” Prosser said. “Monitoring and protection through education is a key component of this process. As well, the district is considering financial incentives to allow us to enter properties and inspect and properly seal existing wells.”

Those not able to attend the community information session in person can access information on the district’s community water initiatives website at www.invermerewater.ca or by visiting the district office located at 914 8th Avenue.

Just Posted

The end of an Echo

Invermere Valley Echo shuts down operations in Columbia Valley

Creating a new narrative for Canal Flats

Economic development consultant hired, lists vision for next 90 days

UPDATE: Crews battle as wildfires rage in B.C. Interior

Crews brace for another day on B.C. firelines as no let up is likely

VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers

Wildfires continue to engulf regions of B.C.’s forests and communities.

VIDEO: More than 180 wildfires burning across B.C.

Firefighters from other provinces called in to assist

DTSS Grad March 2017

DTSS Grad March 2017

59 cats seized in Chase

59 neglected and injured cats were seized from a property in Chase

Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell dead at age 52

The singer/songwriter passed away early Thursday morning in Detroit

Paying tribute to a primeval passage

Uninterrupted celebrates the Adams River sockeye run in an extraordinary way.

UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds

In the past, the music festival located in Pemberton drew large crowds last year of 180,000 fans

Medical wait times cost B.C. patients $2,300 each

New Fraser Institute report places B.C. at second worst in costs associated with long wait times

UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert

Witnesses reported hearing two loud bangs coming from near the arena’s bars at about 10:35 p.m.

One in three Canadian high school students have rode with drinking drivers, study reveals

Nearly one in five rode with a driver who’d been smoking pot

Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records

A lower court judge ruled to destroy the stories after 15 years unless consent is given to preserve

Most Read