Water quality matters

Lake Cowichan – Our natural lakes and waterways have enough pressure on them already – we need to do everything we can to keep them clean. The CVRD’s zoning review process in the Lake Cowichan area is a major concern for me – and should be for all of us.

The CVRD is considering changing zoning to allow recreational campsites in rural residential areas (where there are “recreational values”). I’m not opposed to development, but that development must be done with careful consideration of the environment and the long term impacts any development may have. Particularly in environmentally sensitive areas.

The CVRD is entertaining a zoning change for the first 15 applicants, to allow RVs (up to four per lot) in what is a wetland riparian zone that floods annually as Lake Cowichan floods. That means that anything in these low lying areas, including sewage, floods into the Lake. I am very concerned that if the CVRD allows what these first 15 owners want, it will be the first of many who will line up for the same deal.

We need to have reasonable and common sense standards for sewage disposal. These need to be strictly enforced. And in areas that have a high likelihood of groundwater and lake water contamination, an environmental assessment and very strict standards should be set.

With these first 15 applicants, there are no plans for central sewage disposal, and currently no approved or inspected sitespecific sewage systems in place.

But that doesn’t mean “illegal” campers aren’t there, and RVs aren’t dumping their sewage into the ground (and lake). The CVRD cannot legitimize this situation nor can we allow it to expand.

I oppose the CVRD changing the zoning to allow recreational campsites in environmentally sensitive areas. I also oppose the CVRD allowing recreational campsites in residential neighbourhoods.

Dalton Smith Lake Cowichan