The majority of the City of Campbell River receives its water from a watershed comprising John Hart, McIvor, Lower Campbell, Upper Campbell and Buttle Lakes as well as many streams and creeks. The Main Water System supply, from John Hart Lake, is transferred through three B.C. Hydro penstocks from the John Hart dam and diverted into the City’s main water supply lines. The City also takes water directly from John Hart Lake, independent of the BC Hydro penstocks, through a submerged intake line near the Snowden Forest Pump Station. This source provides water to the Gordon Road and Snowden Forest areas as well as providing untreated water to the PRT Nursery and a small number of other properties.
Campbell River’s drinking water source has traditionally been reliable and of high quality. Water originating from John Hart Lake may be characterized as being very soft, low in dissolved minerals and of low alkalinity. Turbidity, suspended solids and colour are all low. Raw water is tested and analyzed regularly to ensure that the source water meets the Canadian Water Quality Guidelines for drinking water use.
The City strives to protect its water sources. Watershed protection will ensure safe, high quality water and limit water treatment costs. In 2001, the John Hart Watershed was designated as a community watershed under the Forest Practices Code. In the same year, the City completed a Watershed Management Plan to provide policy direction for managing the watershed for the benefit of the community through risk assessment and remediation identification. The City is currently updating the Watershed Management Plan and expects to have it finalized in 2014. A Technical Watershed Committee of watershed stakeholders was established in 2004 with the responsibility of identifying issues and making recommendations for the watershed, aiding in reviewing technical information, and developing best management practices for all activities in the watershed.
Technical Watershed Committee
The health and safety of our watershed is monitored through the Technical Watershed Committee, an advisory group of technical experts that make recommendations on decisions regarding activities in the watershed.
Member organizations of the Committee have additional interests in and a long history of watershed protection, environmental stewardship, and planning processes that emerge from their own mandate, activities, and associated regulatory guidance.
The Committee’s mandate is derived entirely from a voluntary, mutual interest by member organizations in the protection of source water quality, and knowledge that, although the Committee’s activities do not currently emerge from a formalized regulatory process, the mechanisms to designate an area for drinking water protection and compel planning processes exist within the Drinking Water Protection Act if no other mechanism exists to prevent risks to source supplies.
The committee meets on a semi-annual to quarterly basis to review current issues and development plans within the watershed that have been referred to the committee.