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Contaminants and Saltwater Intrusion

"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

Provincial Government

     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

Saltwater Intrusion

2016 Simon Fraser University Report on Risk of Salt Water Intrusion in Gulf Islands

Provincial Government

     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  
Page last updated: 04/05/17
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