"Particularly serious is the potential for salt water intrusion along the settled coastal areas.
Heavy pumping can draw sea water into the aquifer, contaminating the fresh water."
Living on Hornby Island (brochure)
The Islands Trust Council has long been concerned about the issues of water quality and quantity on the islands of the Islands Trust Area. The Islands Trust does not have the jurisdiction to regulate water or wells. That is a provincial and regional district responsibility. Local trust committees can protect groundwater using land use planning tools. The Islands Trust also promotes sustainable water use and advocates on behalf of islanders for better provincial water legislation.
The Islands Trust Council's strategic plan for the 2014-2018 term of office includes the objective to protect the quality and quantity of water resources and specifically to advocate for and educate about water conservation measures (e.g. rainwater catchment, greywater recycling).
Below you will find links to information on contaminants and saltwater intrusion. (Click here for a pdf table of all the resources we found.)
Contaminants and Septic Systems
Mayne Island Integrated Water Systems Society workshops on septic systems
Cowichan Valley Regional District Septic Savvy
Regional District of Nanaimo septic system workshops and reports on water contamination
Variety of technical reports on well contamination
Tackling Non-point source Water Pollution in British Columbia
How to Find A Septic Tank
Federation of BC Naturalists Living By Water Project
2016 Simon Fraser University Report on Risk of Salt Water Intrusion in Gulf Islands
Saturna Island Seawater Intrusion Report
Sodium in Groundwater
Saturna Water Conservation Committee - Saline intrusion information on website
Nanaimo Regional District - Various reports on saltwater intrusion
We welcome suggestions for new items. If you are aware of information that is not included please contact Pamela Hafey Communications Specialist (250) 405-5156.
Previous Islands Trust water resource projects:
- 2004 The Islands Trust partnered with other agencies to create the Gulf Islands Waterscape poster.
- 2005 The Islands Trust Fund built a demonstration rainwater catchment project on one of its Salt Spring Island nature reserves.
- 2009 The Islands Trust also created a series of posters, featuring island artist's work, about special considerations on the islands, including water conservation.
- Trust Council Advocacy to the Province of BC