Comments, Taxes, Water

Saltair Water Advisory Committee Community Update (SWAC)

Our wishes to you and yours for a Healthy and Happy New Year!

Saltair Water System Budget 2018:
$258,000 of Area G’s 2015-2019 Gas Tax Grant funds have finally been moved into the 2018 water system budget. These funds were available as of January 1, 2015.  We have been waiting three years for them to be moved into the water system budget.

2017 South Oyster School Road Saltair Water Distribution Upgrade:
From CVRD staff, “The construction cost for these upgrades came in at $199,750; below the bid of $212,670.  The total spent in 2017 for contract services, archaeological work and design totalled $10,175.”

2017 Chemoy/Dogwood Roads Saltair Water Distribution Upgrade:
The Chemoy/Dogwood tender (as of Dec 6, 2017) is posted on the CVRD Website at The work is to be done in 2018.

Filtration System for the Saltair Water System:
SWAC continues to ask the CVRD Engineering Staff about grants for Saltair water system filtration.

The Comox Valley Regional District is aggressively pursuing grants for its water filtration system.  The Mayor of Ladysmith advises there are grants available for “shovel-ready filtration projects.”  SWAC understands the CVRD is contacting both to investigate the grants they are aware of.

The CVRD is investigating groundwater (wells) as an alternative to having Saltair install a filtration system for Stocking Lake water.  SWAC continues to raise issues and concerns regarding a groundwater alternative to supplying Saltair with water from Stocking Lake:

  1. Chemainus is now on well water. It recently issued a boil water advisory until Dec. 22, 2017.
  2. Lantzville reports issues with their groundwater levels at various times of the year. They suggest any testing should be done in August during the driest time of the year.
  3. Mill Bay reports groundwater level issues that have reached a category indicating its water supply is under stress.
  4. The Arbutus Water System is also having groundwater level issues that have reached a category indicating stress.
  5. Many groundwater systems in the South Cowichan area have ground water issues due to a lack of data.

Details about groundwater in the South Cowichan can be found in a report from the BC Environmental Services Division, which was presented to the EASC on 1 Nov 2017.  This video presentation can be found at .  Move the video tab bar to 2:16. The presentation continues until approximately 3:06.  The agenda item is R7 South Cowichan Water Study Update – Report from Environment Services Division.

 SWAC meeting with MLA Doug Routley:
In December, members of the SWAC met with Saltair’s MLA Doug Routley.  Island Health has mandated a filtration system for the Saltair Water System and Island Health is under the Ministry of Health.

Large water systems with open water sources are receiving grants to assist with the financial burden of their filtrations systems. The Saltair Water System is a small water system serving approximately 2,000 persons and 850 parcels of land. SWAC asked Doug how the NDP will be financially assisting small water systems.  We said there is need for a fair and equitable funding system such that all systems, small and large, receive equal portions of grant funding (e.g., 75%).

The meeting was productive. As we work out some of the details we will put them in our regular community updates.  Good to have forward motion.

MLA Routley’s office graciously printed 100 copies of the provincial pamphlet, Water Well Disinfection. Thank You! We will be sharing these with you at a future SWAC meeting.

1 thought on “Saltair Water Advisory Committee Community Update (SWAC)”

  1. We have a proven source of some of he best drinking water in the world in Stocking Lake. I don’t understand why anyone would think of switching to well water.


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