There are plans for road building and industrial development in the Quartz Creek watershed, the only source of drinking and fire fighting water for our community. We are concerned that development will negatively impact the water quality and quantity, and cause contamination that will render it unusable.
A study conducted in the early 2000’s by the Regional District of the Central Kootenay found that Ymir has no alternative economically feasible water source.
The Quartz Creek geology contains rock high in sulphide minerals, known as acid rock. This rock, when exposed to water and air by industrial activities, creates sulphuric acid. The result is water contaminated by high acidity and toxic metal leaching, rendering it unusable and damaging the natural environment.
Any changes to water quality or flow will cause our water treatment system to be ineffective. The treatment system, built 10 years ago at a cost of $1.7 million, removes particulate matter, bacteria, and parasites. It cannot remove contamination from fuel spills, acid rock drainage, toxic metals, or other chemicals. As taxpayers, we will all be forced to pay for another new treatment plant.
There is no contingency plan should our water change in either quality or quantity.
Before any activity starts in our watershed, we are asking for:
a long term contingency plan
a thorough acid rock geological study
a long term (minimum 3 year) baseline hydrology study
We have not been provided with any of these from either proponent of the development or the BC provincial government.