Thoughts on water issue

A reader wonders if there is a lower cost option for a new water treatment system.

Dear Editor,

I have been pondering the water treatment issue over the past few months, and have noted some inconsistencies in the information we have received from the village. In the notice on the water conservation program flyer, it stated that the average B.C. resident uses 350 litres of water per day and the average Ashcroft resident uses 1,831 litres per day. In the FAQs recently placed in our mailboxes, it sites the average per capita water use in B.C. as 606 litres  per day, with ours as 1,831 litres. I am not sure which is factual.

As others have already stated, the 1,831 litres per day per resident is not accurate because we have no actual way of measuring the water consumption per household. We must factor in the watering of several parks in our village and the cemetery, as well as the water usage in public facilities such as the arena, the village offices, the village community hall, the schools, the school district offices, etc. In villages and towns and cities with water meters it would be far easier to measure the household usage, and find out if the public water usage is part of the assessments we are privy to.

Also, as I reflect on this issue and Interior Health’s assessment of our water quality, one question becomes what about our gardens, both plant and vegetable? I have nothing to document my concerns, but I believe that there are minerals and nutrients in the water from the river that nurture our plant life and contribute to the beauty and produce that surround us.   As we battle to rid our water of the bacteria and microorganisms that could be harmful to us, are we not also eliminating some of the nutrients which also give us nourishment?

Vigilance is a good thing, and to the best of my knowledge the Village is taking samples of our filtered water on a regular basis. Other than the yearly water advisories during the annual runoff, I am not aware of any health issues directly related to our water. My concerns would be far greater regarding water phobia, which leads to the purchase of bottled water. Is our body’s natural immune system compromised when it is not exposed to various elements naturally occurring in our water because they have been filtered out?

I am in the age bracket now which speaks of weakened immune systems, and vulnerability to disease. For many years I have been drinking water directly from my taps and even, God forbid, from the hoses in my yard at times, and I have been less subject to illness than my children and grandchildren who drink bottled water and eat organically. They have been carefully protected, and I wonder if they have been denied the development of their natural immune system. My sons and their families have not taken the organics to the extreme, but I have noted that they do miss school with illnesses more frequently than I did as a kid. There is no hard evidence to support my theory, and perhaps it is just faulty memory in a senior citizen.

Our water treatment plant needs to go to referendum so that the will of the people can decide the issue. I am not speaking against the proposed treatment plant, just concerned over the cost that our declining population will be facing over the next thirty years. Is there a more cost-effective system that would only filter the in-residence water and not all of the water in our village?

Mike Baldwin



Editor’s note: Per capita, British Columbians use 606 litres of water per day; this includes all water uses, not just residential. In Ashcroft, per capita daily usage is 1,831 litres.