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Pollution Problems in the Watershed

The biggest issues concerning the pollution of our drinking water are: mismanaged property development or soil disturbance, poorly maintained septic fields or tanks, carelessness and/or ignorance.  

Non point sources of pollution

Non-point source pollution is a fancy term for polluted runoff. The term is used to distinguish this type of pollution from point source pollution , which comes from a single specific source such as a sewage treatment plant or industrial facilities.  

Soil disruption contamination

Adding fill
Fills such large boulders and sand are biological deserts. Sand does not support native vegetation that is commonly found around the lakes

Clearing ditches
This practice in the watershed contributes to phosphorus loading and sediments. When soil is disturbed, phosphorus is released. It then runs off into the groundwater and into lakes

Clearing riparian areas
Land that has been cleared high in the watershed takes away vital natural water filter systems known as riparian zones

Retaining walls
These structures destroy habitat and degrade water quality. By the way they also require a development permit. You could be subjecting yourself to a large fine should you decide to go without.

Contaminants, Chemicals and Toxic materials

When we generate, use, discard and even store these materials incorrectly they can enter and contaminate a watercourse directly or travel there through run-off. These contaminants include but are not limited to: pesticides, sewage, lubricants, fertilizers, house-hold cleansers, personal products.

Hazardous Household and Garden Products
These materials can greatly contaminate our drinking water when they drain into the lake. Check your labels if there's a skull & cross-bone or similar warning chances are you could be drinking or bathing in it a short while after using it.

Garbage
Picnickers, partiers and even poopers cause contamination. Do not use the lake as a dump or landfill site to dispose of garbage or other waste.

Oil spills
Even small drips from a leaky old truck are hazardous. One litre of oil can contaminate up to 2 million litres of water. And the potential for an even larger spill along narrow Cusheon Lake Road is high.

Water washing
Rain, car washing, and the watering of crops or lawns, picks up an array of contaminants. This runoff finds its way into our waterways either directly or through storm drain collection systems.

Did you know?
Lakes, Streams and Wetlands requires a permit before any work is begun. Ask for Development Permit Area 4 and 7

https://islandstrust.bc.ca/location/salt-spring/


One litre of oil can contaminate up to 2 million litres of water!


The biggest issues concerning the pollution of our drinking water are: mismanaged property development or soil disturbance, poorly maintained septic fields or tanks and carelessness and/or ignorance.

More reasons to keep it clean
Animals, Birds and Fish

  • Birds and animals are part of a healthy eco system who need a healthy habitat and fresh water in order to survive - just as we do
  • The riparian area is needed for breeding and raising their young
  • Fish need even better quality water than we do because they cannot filter it. And, if you eat fish caught in the lake, you'll want to know that you are not eating your neighbour's "recycled" truck oil