Rowing Canada should abandon Quamichan Lake plan
Dear mayor and council:
I’m puzzled how our persistently polluted Quamichan Lake could possibly have been picked by Rowing Canada Aviron for its permanent national training centre.
That would be great news if the lake weren’t so polluted by sewage, runoff and other ingredients that have spawned a toxic blue-green algae in the lake.
Canaries in Quamichan’s coal mine in recent years included several dogs who sadly died after entering the toxic lake.
Let’s hope the same fate doesn’t await people, including rowers, who fall in.
Indeed, North Cowichan council has basically done nothing but talk in recent decades about cleaning up Quamichan.
Studies already indicate that fix would take years of legislation to stop nutrients from entering the warm, shallow lake and feeding the algae.
That means making Quamichan Lake an eco-zone with systems to filter run-off from adjacent and uphill properties — including the massive Kingsview project.
Homes ringing the lake must be ordered to hook their septic fields to municipal treatment prevent more fecal matter from reaching the dying lake.
And the farm at the lake’s Stamps Road end must also be ordered to prevent manure from further fouling the lake.
Cutting edge technologies exist to treat wastes to drinking-water levels, vastly diluting the toxins now fouling Quamichan.
Yes, these are complex yet necessary actions to save our lake that should be a world-level summer hole and athletic Mecca.
Meanwhile, I urge Rowing Canada to relaunch its search for a national training centre.
It’s too late for Quamichan Lake, but perhaps Shawnigan Lake or Cowichan Lake could be considered.
Peter W. Rusland