Frustration continues over the continued water-quality advisory for properties using the Hullcar Aquifer in Spallumcheen.
The Environment Ministry’s Quarterly Environmental Enforcement Summaries for 2017 show that in the 3rd quarter of last year, the now former owner of the farm above the aquifer was fined 17 thousand dollars for spreading agricultural waste and a lagoon breach
Al Price with the Save The Hullcar Aquifer Team says that’s pretty minimal and the NDP government doesn’t appear to have done much.
“They’ve studied the Hullcar Aquifer, and there’s been a bunch of recommendations made, and they’ve studied, you know the agricultural waste control regulations and they’ve studied the professional reliance model but I don’t think anything’s improved.”
Price says the water quality hasn’t improved and the farm has still been spreading manure.
“They spread in the Spring before the crop starts to grow, supposedly to make the crop grow better and they spread again after the first cut. They spread after each cut and they take three cuts.”
He suspects there will be another cut.
The farm was sold this spring by Grace-Mar to a new owner.
It’s not clear what that new owner’s plans are.
Price says he’s seen documents that indicate the new owner is still waiting for the government to pay for special equipment to measure water in the soil.
“If they don’t have those or if they don’t have, which they didn’t last year, flow meters on their tractors, you don’t know how much is going on there and it’s all just a best guess.”
Price says that’s not good enough.
He says a new well has been dug, but he’s not sure when it will be usable.