The Cobble Hill Aquifer Interagency Task Group (CHAITG)
Much of Cobble Hill and surrounding area is supplied by aquifer 197, which is a source of drinking water for several improvement districts, small water systems, domestic drinking water wells and industrial-commercial wells on non-serviced lots. Groundwater quality is a long-standing issue in Cobble Hill, with nitrate concentrations above the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality.
In late 2017, the Cobble Hill Aquifer Interagency Task Group (CHAITG) was formed to take a collaborative approach to address the multi-jurisdictional issue of groundwater contamination, and to evaluate the potential risk to groundwater users in the Fisher Road area.
The CHAITG consists of representatives from the Cowichan Valley Regional District, the Ministry of Forest Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Island Health, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Environment.
The goal of the CHAITG is to:
- Undertake groundwater quality assessments to understand the current condition and location of the nitrate contamination;
- Work collaboratively with regulatory agencies and land owners to eliminate additional sources of nitrate contamination to the aquifer, where feasible; and,
- Identify concerns related to public health and communicate these to residents, well owners and water system managers in the area.
On December 18, 2017 CHAITG invited stakeholders from improvement district, water systems, etc. to report on and receive feedback on the CHAITG’s proposed work plan. The work plan for 2018 includes, but is not limited to, re-sampling select groundwater monitoring and drinking water wells in the Cobble Hill area.
The group will continue to meet in 2018.