Drinking Water Advisory Continues for Salt Spring Island’s Highland Drinking Water System

Feb 10, 2011

Victoria, BC - The Do Not Consume Drinking Water Advisory for the Highland Drinking Water System will remain in effect until the Vancouver Island Health Authority is satisfied that the algal toxin (microcystin) no longer presents a risk to consumers. At present, we cannot predict when the algal bloom may crash in St Mary Lake.

Temporary Water Service
Highland Water Service customers can fill their water containers from a tap located outside the North Salt Spring Waterworks District office at 761 Upper Ganges Road.

  • Tap located near fence between waterworks office and highways yard.

Note: North Salt Spring Waterworks (NSSWW) has generously offered to provide this service from their drinking water system which is currently being drawn from Maxwell Lake.

Next Steps
CRD staff presented two temporary options to Highland Water Service Commission:

  1. Install new filters and pumps at Highland Plant. Estimated cost up to $150,000 OR
  2. Continue to fill water containers from NSSWW system until normal water service is restored or the new plant is operational (anticipated to be constructed within 2 years)

The Commission approved Option 2. The Commission did not approve Option 1 because it is only a temporary fix (and the components could not be reused). If the algal bloom crashes and the toxins disappear in St Mary Lake, normal water service will be restored to the Highland Drinking Water System.

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For additional information, please contact:
Ted Robbins, CRD Water Management 250-360-3061 Cell 250-217-908
Stewart Irwin, CRD Water Quality250-474-9603 Cell 250-727-5995