Drinking Water Source Protection
With the relative abundance and high quality of drinking water available in Canada (compared to other places on our globe), most Canadians give little thought to where their drinking water comes from or the process required to make sure it is free of contaminants. There are over 3,000 people who reside in the District of Invermere and countless numbers who visit us each year. Ensuring enough safe drinking water for everyone is something the District has been giving a lot of thought to over the past few years.
We invite you too, as well by:
- Getting informed about the issues and the drinking water initiatives the District is undertaking
- Participating in the public consultation activities being planned.
The District obtains drinking water from two main sources: surface water and groundwater. The Paddy Ryan Reservoir stores surface water obtained from the Goldie Creek watershed. A well drilled into a deep aquifer in the Athalmer area was connected to the District’s system in 2006 to provide an additional source.
The District follows the Ministry of Healthy Living and Sport’s Comprehensive Drinking Water Source to Tap Assessment Guidelines (new in 2010). The guidelines require a multi-barrier approach to drinking water protection. They identify a series of preventative measures, or barriers, to ensure safe drinking water even if one of the barriers fails.
The six barriers outlined in the guidelines are:
- Source protection
- Water system maintenance
- Water quality monitoring
- Operator training
- Emergency response planning
The District’s current water system includes barriers two through six, but does not include source protection, the first barrier against threats to the water system.
Ensuring drinking water source protection is an important initiative that the District has been working on since July 2010.
The District recently completed a Groundwater Protection Plan (GPP). The GP
P provides a better understanding of our ground water system and sources and the potential risks that could undermine it. It also outlines a number of recommendations to mitigate risks and foster shared stewardship of our groundwater supply among all stakeholders. Read more about the GPP.
Surface Water Protection Plans have also been completed for the Goldie Creek Watershed and the Paddy Ryan Reservoirs. The strategy lists current risks to these sources of drinking water and recommends actions to mitigate the risks and improve protection at the source. Read more about the Surface Water Protection Plan for Goldie Creek Watershed (8 Mb) and Paddy Ryan Resevoirs (6.5 Mb).