Shawnigan water warning called off

The no-water-use advisory for the South end of Shawnigan Lake was lifted Tuesday afternoon.

The no-water-use advisory for the South end of Shawnigan Lake was lifted Tuesday afternoon.

Island Health said in a press release that Ministry of Environment lab tests confirm there is no risk to the public’s health.

“This incident may not have put people at risk, but does highlight the importance of protecting both public and private drinking water sources,” Island Health Medical Health Officer Dr. Paul Hasselback said.

The advisory applied to the south end of Shawnigan Lake, south of Butler Avenue on the west side of the lake and south of Verlon Road to the east and while nobody technically has a licence to take water from the lake for drinking water in that area, it may happen.

“For people who draw lake water for private residence drinking purposes, like some residents on Shawnigan Lake, it is important that they have proper treatment processes in place,” Hasselback said.

The advisory was issued on Friday after an apparent breach of surface water from the South Island Aggregates work site on Stebbings Road. Island Health confirmed “a second incident of water overflow occurred at the site,” earlier in the day Tuesday but results of those tests were also found to pose no threat.

“Additional testing is underway to help inform future possible events,” said the press release.

A backgrounder noted Ministry officials took their samples from three spots: the location of the excursion of surface water off the South Island Aggregates property, the treatment facility discharge, and the creek close to the mouth of the lake.

“Final test results received on Tuesday, Nov. 17 show that there was no risk to the public’s health had water been consumed or used,” said the backgrounder.

Residents have been protesting South Island Aggregates for the better part of two weeks as the company accepts a large shipment of sulphur-laden soil from Port Moody.

Excessive rain caused runoff from the site, increasing fears about the safety of the water supply for the area’s 12,000 residents.

South Island Aggregates principals Marty Block and Mike Kelly declined to speak with the Citizen.