Resident airs water worries in Parksville neighbourhood

Matindale Road resident wants RDN, city, to protect the supply

If the Arrowsmith Water Service is successful in its request to move the water intake 50 metres upstream on the Englishman River, Martindale Road resident Duane Round is concerned it could impact on the neighbourhood’s water supply.

Round brought that concern to Tuesday’s Regional District of Nanaimo committee of the whole meeting.

Speaking as a delegation, Round said the 65 homes in the Martindale area along the Englishman River mostly get their drinking water from groundwater wells, which he fears could face contamination.

“Most of us have our own wells that also receive water from the Englishman River aquifer as our only means to obtain water for our homes,” he said. “With the City of Parksville and Nanoose Bay  getting most of the use of this water and their current well systems under duress, I am concerned that in the future they will want to take more of the water than is currently being taken, leaving less for the rest of us that also depend on the aquifer.”

Round said he was also concerned with the plan to store water from the winter runoff in an aquifer storage and recovery system — another potential risk to the neighbourhood’s water supply.

“This also poses a risk that the water supply will be contaminated or cause water to pour out of places on our properties where they have not before,” he said, calling the system an unproven technology.

Round also expressed concern that the Arrowsmith Water Service would, in order to ensure it has enough water, need to extract water from the river year-round.

“Nobody is sure how much water they will be taking in future and I’m worried there won’t be enough for us.”

He said the water in the Englishman River belongs to everybody, so changes to it should include consultation with adjacent landowners.

“We are a small community and we do not have the resources to build large infrastructure,” he said.

“We are at your mercy and I beseech you, as elected representative and human beings, to help ensure the safety of our water.”

In response, Parksville director Marc Lefebvre reassured Round that neighbours will be fully included in any future discussions.

“You can rest assured you will be fully included in any further developments,” he said. “This is a joint effort between the Regional District of Nanaimo and the City of Parksville and nobody is going to be left out. I can guarantee you of that.”

John Finney, the RDN’s general manager of regional and community utilities, waded into the discussion, stressing that water extraction limits are strictly adhered to by the district.

“There is a finite amount of water we can take from the river in a water licence,” Finney said. “The comment about extraction being unlimited and increasing is not correct.”

Finney said water is currently only taken during the summer months, as turbidity and sediment issues during the winter make it unusable.

“Once the treatment plant goes in, it will allow us to expand the period of extraction, but it’s not probably going to take place for some time in terms of extraction in the winter months. That is possible right now only from May to October.”

Round said he would be satisfied with Lefebvre’s assurance, if he put it in writing.


Just Posted

Order in the chambers: Qualicum Beach votes for council code of conduct

Coun. Robert Filmer’s motion passes unanimously at town meeting

Rainbow crosswalk in Qualicum Beach covered in mysterious black substance

‘It was disappointing to see this act of disrespect take place inside our community’

Oceanside RCMP hunt for man after pair of indecent exposure incidents

Elderly woman grabbed by man who had been masturbating in the woods

Nanoose Bay’s Northwest Bay Road again open to the public

Single-lane alternating traffic expected to stretch into September

New police force in Surrey must avoid VPD, RCMP errors made in Pickton case: Oppal

Boots are scheduled to be on the ground by spring 2021

Striking Western Forest Products workers could lose benefits in September

Union, forest company at odds over Vancouver Island benefit payments as strike enters third month

Conan turns to the Property Brothers for tips on buying Greenland

Jonathan Scott suggests removing glaciers and mountains to bring in ‘more natural light’

Forests minister visits B.C. town rocked by multiple mill shutdowns

A third of Mackenzie turns out for rally, not much to cheer about

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

B.C. music teacher accused of sexual misconduct involving girls

Police believe other victims could be out there after the arrest of Lamar Victor Alviar

B.C. family stranded in Croatia desperate to come home

Funds being raised to bring back mom and two children

Most Read