From left: West Kootenay Boating Association president Tim Allen, vice president Ben Arcuri, directors Jay Blackmore and John Wright, treasurer Crissa MacKay, and director Dean Williams. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

Kootenay Lake’s first marine waste pump-out opens

Sewage facility is located at the Prestige marina

Boaters in the Nelson area no longer have an excuse for discharging their sewage into the lake.

The West Kootenay Boating Association officially opened its marine waste pump-out station located at the Prestige Marina in Nelson last week. It’s the first pump-out on the lake.

Association president Tim Allen said it’s been a long process.

“I have been working on this for four years,” he said. “There have been a lot of obstacles.”

At the opening, several people said that without Allen the project would not have happened, and he received several rounds of applause. Allen said he has been boating on Kootenay Lake since he was 14.

It will cost boaters $10 to use the pump-out and the waste will flow directly into Nelson’s sewage system.

Allen said private marinas don’t install pump-outs because of the cost of equipment, installation and maintenance.

No level of government provides or requires waste pump-outs on lakes in B.C. although provincial legislation makes it illegal to dump sewage or any other pollutant.

Regional District of Central Kootenay directors Ramona Faust and Tom Newell, present at the opening, told the Star they have discussed this gap with the provincial environment ministry and urged them to study the program in Washington state, which funds pump-outs.

Newell said the funding process Allen developed is a good prototype for adding further pump-outs to the lake.

“We are just fortunate someone was willing to step forward and take on this first one,” he said.

The budget for the project was $51,250.

The Columbia Basin Trust contributed about a quarter of that, with additional funding provided by RDCK Areas E and F, FortisBC, and the Nelson and District Credit Union. Many Nelson businesses also donated money, time, or services. The Prestige Lakeside Resort donated the dock space and the sewer connection was donated by the City of Nelson.

In 2012, Masse Environmental Services of Nelson produced a report that detailed the need for sewage pump-out stations on Kootenay Lake.

The report recommended a network of strategically placed pump-out stations at various marinas on the lake, and Allen said this is the plan.

“Raw sewage and gray water are considered pollutants if discharged into a water body or onto the ground causing potential negative impacts to the environment and a risk to human health,” the report states.

“This waste contains phosphates, nitrates, pathogenic organisms (fecal and total coliforms) and pharmaceutically active compounds.”

It goes on to explain that the phosphates and nitrates act as a food source for algae and bacteria, resulting in depleted oxygen supply for aquatic life. Fecal and other coliforms pose a direct threat to human health.

Faust pointed out there are approved rural water systems that use Kootenay Lake water and treat it, but it is unknown how many people use untreated lake water.

“A direct result of this pump-out installation will be an improvement in water quality in Kootenay Lake, the West Arm and downstream on the Kootenay and Columbia Rivers,” Allen said.



bill.metcalfe@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nelson’s American sister city faces COVID-19 culture war

In Sandpoint, Idaho, wearing a mask is about Black Lives Matter, gun rights, and COVID-19

UPDATE: Body of Slocan River drowning victim recovered

The man was swimming near Winlaw on Wednesday.

Nelson’s SMRT1 Technologies to provide vending tech to Vancouver company

UpMeals will launch 22 machines across Canada using SMRT1’s personalized machines

July Kootenay real estate sales at record high

Sales and prices of Kootenay real estate on the rise

Kaslo council says it was overlooked in long-term care announcement

“We’re fed up … They have ignored every attempt we’ve made to contact them”

STANDING TALL: For some, B.C.’s forest industry is the best office in the world

A look at the forest sector in B.C. – and those hoping for the best – amid mill curtailments

Doctor slain in Alberta medical clinic was devoted father, husband

Red Deer doctors on edge after attack on colleague who had two young daughters

Royal B.C. Museum wants B.C.’s COVID-19 nature observations

COVID-19 Collecting For Our Time: ongoing project cataloguing province’s pandemic experience

Feds offer ‘life preserver’ funds to BC Ferries as pandemic sinks revenue

For every dollar the province spends the federal government will match

Bad behaviour at B.C. restaurants ignites campaign calling for respect

“If you can’t follow the rules, then stay home,” says BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association

Over half of Americans oppose Trump tariff on Canadian aluminum: survey

The survey was conducted Aug. 7 to 9 among 1,513 Canadians and 1,003 Americans

Oh baby, what a birthday gift: $2.8M raised to help B.C. boy with rare disease

‘We are very thankful to everybody,’ Aryan Deol’s father says

‘Huckleberry’ the bear killed after B.C. residents admit to leaving garbage out for videos

North Shore Black Bear Society said it was local residents who created a ‘death sentence’ for bear

Police investigating after insults, expletives yelled at federal minister’s staff

A 90-second video circulating on social media appears to have been shot by the person who was yelling

Most Read