Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) directors want to proceed immediately on plans to identify the water treatment options and potential costs for the development of a community water system in Nicholson, located in Electoral Area A.
The study will also determine if there is sufficient community support to establish a community water system in the area. At this time, CSRD Area A director Karen Cathcart the CSRD does not know if there will be a community water system in Nicholson, and that the feasibility study will determine what could be. There was no confirmation of whether the community water system could include residents of Nicholson, Habart, and those who reside on the Canyon Creek aquifer, which is separate from those in Nicholson.
Nitrates continue to be observed in Nicholson’s groundwater supply which are above naturally occurring levels and, at times, being measured greater than the maximum allowable concentration. A series of monitoring studies of the groundwater since 2005 have shown the Nicholson aquifer is being impacted by septic fields in the area. This is a concern from a health and environmental perspective − both for the aquifer itself and for those who are using wells as a source for drinking water.
Nitrates above the maximum allowable concentration can pose a health risk, especially to pregnant women, infants, the elderly, and those with a weakened immune systems.
In 2019, the CSRD partnered with Interior Health on another one-year water quality monitoring program which started in May 2019. Additional sampling results are expected this fall.
The CSRD has applied for provincial funding to conduct this feasibility study for a community water system, but has not yet received confirmation of the funds. At the Thursday, September 19 regular meeting, the board agreed with a recommendation that the CSRD allocate funds to start the study immediately. Any grant money received at a later date will be used to offset the CSRD’s costs for the study.
Once complete, the results of the groundwater sampling tests and the feasibility study will be shared with Nicholson residents at a public meeting.