From June 26 SWAT Public Meeting
Many water quality concerns were discussed at the SWAT Public meeting on June 26 in Blind Bay, and it was clear that much more action is needed to keep Shuswap water quality from deteriorating.
Our water is being attacked from a host of sources including sewage in its various forms; contamination from agriculture and industrial farming run-off containing animal manure, chemicals & fertilizers, septic leakages, especially during high water, treated sewer discharges, inadequate septic regulations, houseboat and boat sewage discharges, lack of pump-out facilities, and many others.
These sources deposit bacteria, disease, ecoli, chemicals, & pharmaceuticals into our drinking water.
A serious new threat was described by the Invasive Species Council of BC (ISCBC). They warned that Zebra and Quagga Mussels are infiltrating lakes across the USA and Canada by attaching to boats. They are getting closer to BC.
If they get into our water it could have a dramatic and serious negative impact on the watershed.
They clog residential water line intakes and treatment plants.
Shorelines can be covered with sharp-edged shells so that footwear must be worn. They colonize on watercraft hulls, engines, steering components, recreational equipment, and can clog engine cooling systems and damage boat motors.
They attach to aquatic plants and submerged surfaces, including piers, pilings, and water intakes.
Species such as sockeye salmon, kokanee, and trout could be severely depleted, and they can even result in poisonous blue-green algae.
It would result in serious and permanent impacts on our ecology, lifestyle, recreation, and economy. The financial impacts alone would be very significant.
The ISCBC only recently added aquatic species to their program, but it is imperative that our community leaders and residents coordinate with them on this new threat.
SWAT is thankful we have a watershed-wide organization such as SLIPP to help address water issues. Recently SLIPP’s political leadership team from around the Shuswap watershed unanimously voted to continue SLIPP into the future.
We are now calling for SLIPP to become a “Shuswap Watershed Board” with permanent funding to address our many water quality threats.
SWAT Media Spokesperson 604-290-3155