Concerns about the safety of Faulder’s water supply remain a problem for the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen.
In 2007, the Interior Health Authority issued a water quality advisory because of the uranium content.
At the time, Health Canada had decreased the acceptable uranium concentration in drinking water from 0.1 milligrams per litre to 0.02 milligrams per litre. Faulder’s water averages 0.028 milligrams per litre. When the advisory was issued, Faulder residents raised concerns about the level of uranium in their drinking water supply.
Anyone on a community water system should expect to have a good and safe water supply, but bringing Faulder’s water up to the standards will be a challenge. There are around 80 homes in Faulder and any solution will have a high per-unit cost.
In addition to the high level of uranium, the Regional District has an additional water problem in Faulder, since the aquifer level in the region has dropped.
While the aquifer level recharged in 2011, the low level earlier has forced the regional district to examine its options to supply Faulder and area residents with a steady and safe water supply.
In 2010, the Regional District considered a $2-million pipeline to connect Faulder to Summerland’s water supply, but that option was later ruled out as being too costly.
The Regional District is now accepting proposals for systems to remove the uranium from the water supply. No matter which option is eventually selected, it will prove costly.
Still, there is no way the Regional District can choose to simply ignore the supply problems in Faulder or leave residents to find solutions on their own.
This is one instance where there are no quick, cheap or simple solutions.