To ensure safe drinking water for residents in the Hullcar Valley, the Province is providing $950,000 to support alternative drinking water sources, fund treatment for domestic well users and support sustainable, environmentally appropriate farming in the Hullcar Valley.
The Province will work with the Township of Spallumcheen, Splatsin, Steele Springs Water District, Interior Health and First Nations Health Authority around the mechanics and timelines for bringing the alternative drinking water sources online.
A portion of the funding will also be used to develop and implement nutrient management plans for farms located over the Hullcar Aquifer. This investment will include an action plan for agricultural operators.
Residents within the Steele Springs Water District drawing water from Hullcar Aquifer 103 have been under a water-quality advisory since 2014 because of elevated nitrate levels in their drinking water source.
Comprehensive testing and analysis done to-date shows a combination of factors are likely affecting the aquifer, with nitrate pollution coming from several sources.
The inter-ministry working group, established last year, will continue to evaluate and manage the sources of nitrates, and work with agricultural operators to identify and implement improved nutrient management practices.
The Ministry of Environment issued Pollution Prevention and Pollution Abatement Orders to several local agricultural operations last year after water-quality results and inspections concluded there are reasonable grounds to believe they are contributing to the high nitrate levels. The orders require agricultural operators to better manage agricultural waste through a variety of best practices and to track the success of these actions.
The Province is currently updating the agricultural waste control regulation to reflect the latest science and address adverse impacts to the environment and public health.
Greg Kyllo, MLA for Shuswap –
“Over the past two years, our government has remained focussed on addressing the water-quality issue for Hullcar Valley residents and the Splatsin. By ensuring access to safe drinking water through this funding, we are able to alleviate the stress for those living under a drinking water advisory. We will also continue with the important work being done by our inter-ministry working group to better understand the various nitrate sources and take any necessary actions to make sure the community has safe drinking water while providing supports for local agriculture.”
Mary Polak, Minister of Environment –
“I want to thank the residents in the Hullcar Valley who have been incredibly patient while we’ve worked to find solutions to a very challenging and complex problem. I would also acknowledge the hard work from Greg Kyllo, who has been a very diligent, constructive and effective advocate for the local community. The investment in alternative drinking water sources is very good and well-deserved news for residents.”
Chief Wayne Christian, Splatsin –
“Splatsin acknowledges B.C.'s commitment providing financial resources to lay the groundwork for safe clean drinking as we see this as a basic human right. We are cautiously optimistic as we need to see results from these investments in providing clean safe drinking water to the residents of the Hullcar Valley."
Janice Brown, mayor of Spallumcheen –
“I am pleased the concerns of our community have been heard and that residents will soon have access to drinking water that’s safe for themselves and their families. I look forward to the Province’s continued work to identify and manage the source of nitrates and work with our local agricultural industry to improve nutrient management practices.”
Board of trustees, Steele Springs Waterworks District –
“Working towards a solution to provide safe drinking water for Hullcar residents has always been our top priority. We will work with the government to ensure the work needed to facilitate this happens as soon as possible. “
B.C. News - Ministry of Environment: http://www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/ministries/environment-1