Although tests prove that Cowichan Lake is relatively clear of fecal coliform (see the feature story on Pages 1 to 2 of this week’s Lake Cowichan Gazette), the question remains; for how long?
With aging septic tanks stretching west of the Town of Lake Cowichan around the lake, it’s only a matter of time before more begin to leak.
Installing modern sewer systems in the communities around Cowichan Lake would be a multi-million dollar project. Even upgrading the Town of Lake Cowichan’s sewage treatment plant has proven itself an expensive endeavour, requiring extensive government grants.
The Cowichan Lake area’s priorities aren’t in line with environmental concerns. If they were, upgrades to sewer systems would have come before $7.6 million upgrades to the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena.
But, spending money on sewage treatment isn’t a pretty issue, and sewage treatment plants are a lot less attractive than a fancy-looking recreation facilities.
True, it’s a tourist draw, and something to keep locals entertained, but imagine the opposite effect an outbreak of beaver fever, combined with media reports of high fecal coliform levels, could have on the area. What we need is forward-thinking politicians to take action.