The dumping of boat waste has attracted community concern, writes the program manager of the Friends of Kootenay Lake. Photo submitted

LETTER: Boat waste harmful to lake health

Readers report boat sewage dumping at Pilot Bay

The Friends of Kootenay Lake have recently been contacted by concerned community members regarding the dumping of boating waste into Kootenay Lake, particularly waste that is evident within Pilot Bay.

Pilot Bay and Sawmill Cove are used as a domestic water supply and therefore, discharge or dumping of sewage is not permitted and is punishable by law, according to the BC Parks website.

Boat waste from commercial and pleasure water-crafts is considered pollution once expelled into a water body and not only looks unappealing but also contaminates a water supply that supports surrounding communities. Wastewater can contain nitrates, phosphates and pathogenic organisms such as E. coli that are harmful to the lake and to human health.

Recently, a pump-out station was installed at the Prestige Lakeside Resort. For only $10, boaters can dispose of their wastewater in a way that’s safe for other users and for the lake.

Kootenay Lake is the heart of the West Kootenay, a valuable resource within the community. The lake supports the communities along its shorelines and an array of fish and wildlife. Illegal release of boat wastewater poses a serious threat to the health of this delicate ecosystem. If you witness pollution, including illegal dumping of boat wastewater within provincial park boundaries, please contact a local conservation officer via the Report All Poachers and Polluters line at 1-877-952-7277 (RAPP).

Thank you in advance for your time and assistance.

Claire Pollock-Hall

Friends of Kootenay Lake Stewardship Society

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