ELENA RARDON PHOTO

EDITORIAL: Muddying the waters over drinking water in the Alberni Valley

The Alberni Valley has been hit with a spate of contaminated water advisories…

The Alberni Valley has been hit with a spate of contaminated water advisories in the past few weeks, from Canal Waterfront Park (Canal Beach) and Polly’s Point to Victoria Quay, Papermill Dam on both sides of the Somass River and now a boil water advisory at China Creek Marina and Campground.

While China Creek Campground can trace its water woes to the recent dry-spell-followed-by-heavy-rain weather, no one seems to know why enterococci and E. coli counts have skyrocketed (then went back to normal) at the other locations.

Clean water is serious business in the Alberni Valley. A number of years ago, after repeated boil water advisories and questionable drinking water quality in Beaver Creek, Susan Roth and the late Diana Sparks advocated for better attention to that quality. Their hard work resulted in the provincial 4-3-2-1 drinking water policy to which all municipalities must now abide.

Others are lobbying for better protection of the city’s entire watershed, which the city does not own.

People have questioned whether the contamination is coming from the City of Port Alberni’s sewage lagoon or some other source; the city has done some testing of its storm drains as well as water in front of the outflow to the lagoon and have said everything has come back normal.

Others wonder whether infrastructure to the sewage lagoon is perhaps beginning to fail and contaminating the water from below.

The quality of our water sources should not be left on the shoulders of a few concerned citizens who won’t take no for an answer. These persistent contaminated water advisories should be an alarm bell, not just for citizens but for politicians too.

We should all be concerned about why these contaminated water notices are occurring now. It’s time to be proactive about our water health.

— Alberni Valley News

Just Posted

Interactive art exhibit in Port Alberni challenges stigma

‘Stigmatized’ presented by the Port Alberni Community Action Team

ARTS AROUND: Learn felting techniques at the Rollin Art Centre in Port Alberni

Saltspring Island artist Laurie Steffler will present two felting workshops

BCHL: Bulldogs new coach Joe Martin looking for hard skill, winning attitude

Alberni Valley team heads into new era with new owners, coaches, expectations

China Creek bullhead derby a hit

Derby was organized by the Port Alberni Port Authority

Go Bearfoot in the Park and help kids too in Port Alberni

Fundraising event will take place at Blair Park on Aug. 24

UPDATE: Wildfire east of Port Alberni under control

Crews continue to mop up 3.1-hectare fire

Vancouver Island rainbow crosswalk covered in mysterious black substance

Black substance spilled intentionally near Qualicum Beach school and difficult to remove

RCMP originally planned to arrest Meng Wanzhou on plane, defence lawyers say

The allegations have not been proven in court. Meng was arrested Dec. 1 at Vancouver airport at the behest of the U.S.

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Ethics commissioner ready to testify on Trudeau, SNC-Lavalin: NDP critic

A new poll suggests the report hasn’t so far hurt the Liberals’ chances of re-election this fall

Inflation hits Bank of Canada 2% target for second straight month

Prices showed strength in other areas, including an 18.9 per cent increase in the cost of fresh vegetables

Vancouver Island RCMP hunt for man after pair of indecent exposure incidents

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

Pile of wood mulch ‘spontaneously combusts’ at Vancouver Island industrial site

Business owner thanks fire department for quick response

Most Read