2011 Groundwater Chemistry Sampling Study

Results of July 2011 Groundwater Chemistry Sampling Study by Drs D.M. Allen and D. Kirste as prepared for MIIWSS, March 2012

This study describes the results of synoptic groundwater sampling on Mayne Island in July 2011. It extends previous research conducted in 1975 by R.A. Dakin (Master of Science Thesis, University of Waterloo) on the chemistry of groundwater on Mayne Island.

Water samples were collected in July 2011 from wells volunteered by local residents under the auspices of a joint project between the Mayne Island Integrated Water Systems Society (MIIWSS) and Simon Fraser University (SFU). Water samples were analyzed for dissolved ionic species (i.e., metals and common anions) at Simon Fraser University and are interpreted herein in the context of the local hydrogeology as well as previous groundwater sampling studies (on Saturna, Hornby and Mayne Islands).



An ongoing project, started in 2006 with 13 well owners expanded in 2010 to focus more on salinity in private wells.

MIIWSS is currently (2011) cooperating with Dr Diana Allen, Professor of Earth Sciences, Simon Fraser University, and three students. We are focusing on island wide coverage, with the students conducting testing for all metals and minerals in order to determine locations of certain elements in specific areas. SFU testing July 13 - 20, 2011 and repeated by MIIWSS in 2012.



MIIWSS has a water awareness sign at the Mayne Street Mall with a general alert to the status of the water situation. Please note that this will be general awareness information, and will not specify restrictions. The sign is seasonal in nature. Please take note of the Water Turn Off sign on the left as you are approaching the ferry at ReMax Realty. This serves as a reminder to turn your water off before leaving the island for any duration.



MIIWSS, as needs indicate, will press government officials for changes in regulations and legislation. If you agree with any of the positions, please write indicating your support.

Current letters regarding water issues:

• Ministry of Environment re opposition to hydrofracturing of wells on the Gulf Islands. Reply received. Our letter forwarded to Water Advisory Committee who are currently working on Phase 2 of changes to the Groundwater Protection Act.
ACTION: The government is in the midst of the Living Water Smart program and there has been no indication to date (January 2010) of any action regarding any regulation of hydrofracturing.

• CRD Building Inspection Dept. regarding the inclusion of rainwater collection systems within the CRD Building Code bylaws in the same manner as low flush toilets. Affirmative reply received verbally. Changes under consideration.
ACTION: Pending The Building Code with legislate the use of purple pipes for in home non potable use as of February 2010.

• School District 64 regarding the replacement of the old high consumption toilets at our Mayne Island School.
ACTION: MIIWSS and Community Response will replace all toilets in our school the summer of 2010 as a community wide project. MIIWSS wishes to thank the community groups, businesses, and Islanders for their generous support for this project.

• Ditching: Requested our Island Trustees meet with Ministry of Transportation to confine the practice of ditching to areas where needed and not ditch as a general practice. This is to protect the groundwater recharge areas around well sites and general recharge areas that are losing water to runoff into the ocean. No reply received, nor indication of action taken.
ACTION: Ditching continues with the loss of valuable groundwater recharge for our island aquifers.

• Islands Trust: MIIWSS also works cooperatively with our Island Trust officials to ensure that water is respectfully covered within our Official Community Plan, and from there included in our Land Use Bylaws.

• Under Advocacies in appropriate sections: - hydrofracturing has been recognized as not an acceptable practice on Mayne Island -rainwater collection should be encouraged

• Under permitted uses: -bulk water sales from Mayne island aquifers, and transport, will require rezoning for water drawn for business purposes, with emergency exceptions. -many small changes throughout to include water references be changed to read potable water and recognition of the importance of water in development permit areas.


• May 2004: Facilitated a 2 day Small Water Systems Operator Certification
    12 attendees leading to 6 new certified operators for Mayne Island.

• October 2005: MB Labs and VIHA seminar on Water Treatment and VIHA Regulations, CEUs.

• September, 2006: Facilitated a 1 day Leak Detection Course.
    15 attendees. SWS certification points earned.

• October 2007: Confined Space Entry seminar.

• October 2008: E.D.S. Pumps seminar on Water Treatment. CEUs.
    With special thanks to CRD Director for financial support enabling ten single well owner

• NOTE: Annual Water Workshops qualify for EOCP Continuing Education Units.