Sandpiper residents have been dealing with water quality issues for years. (Larry Biccum photo)

Sandpiper residents have been dealing with water quality issues for years. (Larry Biccum photo)

RDN says water in French Creek still potable despite levels of iron, manganese

Strategy to improve water quality being established

The Regional District of Nanaimo has indicated it is working on a strategy to improve water quality in the French Creek area.

Residents in the Sandpiper community have been urging the regional district to address the issue for years.

According to the RDN, although the French Creek Water Services Area contains levels of iron and manganese that makes the water aesthetically unpleasing, it is potable. As well, the water system operates under the permit by Island Health.

Last year, the Government of Canada’s Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality proposed more stringent regulations on manganese concentration in drinking water.

As a result, the RDN Water Services 2020 Business Plan includes the objective: “Develop a strategy for the French Creek Water Service Area to be compliant with the new regulations on manganese concentration in drinking water.”

Work on this strategy, according to the RDN, has been ongoing since February of this year. The RDN will provide further updates on the strategy and its cost to Sandpiper property owners as more information becomes available.

Sandpiper residents have been frustrated with the RDN. In 2016, the French Creek Residents Association proposed the RDN purchase EPCOR Water Utility that provides water to approximately 4,000 residences in French Creek including to some portion of the Town of Qualicum Beach.

The RDN attempted to buy the water utility but abandoned the plan last year due to the prohibitive cost that would have resulted in residents facing increased water rates. The RDN, however, did not reveal how much EPCOR was asking and stated that negotiations are subject to confidentiality agreement.

READ MORE: Petition underway to get RDN to improve Sandpiper water quality

READ MORE: Residents angry after RDN turns off the tap on water supply takeover

Electoral Area G (French Creek, San Pareil, Little Qualicum) director Lehann Wallace is now helping Sandpiper residents with a water quality petition to the RDN. There are 248 homes that are affected by the poor water quality, that is drawn from groundwater wells.

In 2012, the RDN conducted a survey of French Creek WSA residents to gauge satisfaction with water quality and motivation to fund improvements:

• 33 per cent responded to the survey;

• 87 per cent were unsatisfied with water quality;

• 83 per cent were unwilling to spend $500 to $600 per year in additional taxes over 20 years to fund improvements which focused on a dedicated water treatment plant at that time; and

• 63 per cent were willing to spend $100 to $200 per year in additional taxes to fund improvements.

In 2016 and 2017, the RDN applied for a grant from senior government to offset the costs of a water treatment plant, but was unsuccessful on both attempts. In 2001 and 2013, the RDN attempted to purchase bulk water for Sandpiper from the Town of Qualicum Beach, but was unsuccessful on both attempts.

Michael.Briones@pqbnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Nanaimo Regional DistrictParksvillequalicum beach

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vancouver Island Symphony conductor Pierre Simard is releasing his new synthwave album ‘Plandemic’ on March 5. (Photo courtesy Olivia Simard)
Vancouver Island Symphony conductor releasing side-project EP of electronic music

Pierre Simard, recording as Plan Omega, presents ‘Plandemic’

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a B.C. Ferries vessel. (File photo)
Nanaimo ferry passengers who refused to wear masks and caused disturbance fined $460 each

Incident happened Sunday, Feb. 21, aboard the Queen of Cowichan

Beef to the woman walking two dogs that attacked my two small chihuahua dogs along Estevan Road. I was dragged down the embankment with my dogs. All three of us were pinned against the fence by your dogs with no escape route. Your dogs were on retractable leashes that were not appropriate for their size and weight and you had no control over them at all.
Beefs & Bouquets, Feb. 24

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

The Port of Nanaimo has signed a 50-year-agreement with DP World around short-sea shipping operations at Duke Point Terminal. (News Bulletin file photo)
Port of Nanaimo and DP World sign 50-year shipping operations agreement

Lease agreement ‘important first step’ in $105-million Duke Point expansion project

A Nanaimo RCMP vehicle in the Woodgrove Centre parking lot. (News Bulletin file photo)
Woman groped by stranger in mall parking lot in Nanaimo

Incident happened near bus loop Saturday, Feb. 20, at about 4:45 p.m.

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

Nanaimo’s Joanne Secord is a quarterfinalist in Inked Magazine’s Cover Model Search contest. (Janayh Wright Photography)
50-year-old Nanaimo mom hopes her tattoos will earn her a magazine cover shoot

Joanne Secord on cusp of semifinals in Inked Magazine contest

Nanaimo Courthouse. (News Bulletin file photo)
Motorist sentenced to two years for dangerous driving causing death on Gabriola Island

William Goosman pleaded guilty last fall in connection with incident that killed Jay Dearman

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

Photograph By @KAYLAXANDERSON
VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

Most Read