Update: 11 a.m. Feb. 20:
A Spallumcheen dairy farm behind a sewage lagoon overflow late last week was in non-compliance over the issue for almost a year.
Mayor Janice Brown says Grace Mar Dairy was first cited for non-compliance with a lagoon that was tool small for the number of cows they own in April of 2016.
The Ministry of Environment was alerted to this spill last week and still failed to take action according to Brown.
“The Ministry knows they are not in compliance. They have done nothing about it. The guy stood up to the Conservation Officer yesterday and the day before, and said this is the way I farm, this is what I’m doing.”
There were concerns over nitrate levels in the Hullcar aquifer before, but Brown says this latest incident has pushed those concerns to the forefront.
“It’s time to really start the lobbying and hope some good comes out of this and that some regulations get put in place.”
This spill demands action now according to Brown.
“That is what we are going to push for, that we get some sort law enforcement and that we get a solution to get the extra manure either hauled away or pumped away instead of spreading it over our aquifer.”
The latest nitrate level readings show 14.4 parts per million, the highest on record.
The issue will be going before Spallumcheen council tonight.
Hullcar Valley residents are again up in arms after a dairy farm at the west end of the valley on Salmon River Road had it’s sewage lagoon breach last Thursday.
The Ministries of Environment and Health are dealing with the matter…after the lagoon overflowed according to Hullcar resident Al Price.
“Spilling of thousands and thousands and thousands of gallons of basically liquid manor out onto the ground.”
A trench was dug to capture the sewage…and pumper trucks have been spreading it onto two fields or back into the lagoon.
Price says this is just another incident forcing nitrate levels through the roof in the drinking water from the Hullcar aquifer.
“Brian Upper at Steele Springs released the latest testing results Sunday for the local water and the nitrate levels are 14.4 parts per million and that is the highest rate they have ever been.”
Three years ago the level registered at 10 ppm.