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Water Today Title December 13, 2019

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Advisory of the Day


201910/6


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BEAVER POINT RESORT, BURNS LAKE, BC: BOOMING BUSINESS, IN SPITE OF BWA



Beaver Point Resort is a campground and cabin rental business situated on 11 acres adjacent beautiful Tchesinkut Lake, 16 km south of Burns Lake, BC. The campground serves 37 grass camp sites with power and water, and 9 graveled RV sites. Fully serviced, modern cabins are available for weeklong rentals, from the May long weekend through to the end of the season in mid-September.

The camp rents boats and motors, and beach kayaks. Fishing is good here, as the lake is cold and deep, fed by freshwater springs. The small land-locked salmon known as Kokanee that used to be so plentiful in the lake are making a comeback after years of decline.

The general area around Burns Lake is becoming known for world class mountain biking trails. The local biking club has been very active in developing new trails and linking up overgrown ATV trails for wilderness adventure biking, a recreation trend that is growing in popularity across the country.

Beaver Point Resort has been operating with a Boil Water Notice for two seasons, as of the time of this writing. WaterToday spoke with the owner/manager of the facility, Brenda Hiebert by phone from Beaver Point, now closed for the season.

Mrs. Hiebert says the business takes its water from the surface of Tchesinkut Lake. When she and husband Jake bought the business thirty-five years ago, the water in the lake was unquestionably pristine. “Yeah, we would dip a pail of water out of the lake and never worry about it.” Today, the water treatment requirements are much more stringent.

Water tested at the lake source is clean. Water tested from inside the distribution system at the new cabins tests clean, but the outlets to the campgrounds have been returning unsatisfactory results, necessitating the boil water notice for the entire property.

From the BC Drinking Water Protection Act, 2001, “Water supply systems must provide potable water”, and meet additional requirements established by the operating permit, including but not limited to: treatment requirements, equipment, facilities and operating requirements, qualifications and training of the persons operating, maintaining or repairing the water supply system, monitoring at source as well as the water in the supply system, reporting and publication of monitoring results.

The commercial grade treatment system at Beaver Point Resort employs a U/V process and filtration as an alternative to chlorination. “The system is flushed out every spring (with chlorine)”, says Hiebert, but the day to day process does not require chlorination.

“A new water inspector was out a couple of weeks ago. He went over the whole system with us, and explained a lot,” says Hiebert. “(The inspector) pointed out the cattle across the lake could contribute to water issues. He said the contamination could even be from the way we handle the container taking the sample. He showed how to collect the sample so we don’t contaminate it ourselves,“ Brenda says.

The Hieberts feel the most likely source of their water issue is inside the distribution system to the campsites. Brenda says, “The pipe is only twenty years old. We had been talking about upgrading the electrical. Now we are looking at the plumbing.”

In practice, the provincial water regulations are challenging for remote sites. To have the boil water advisory lifted, a certified laboratory must report two clean water results on two consecutive days. In the northern interior BC, the mail service does not permit two consecutive daily submittals to the nearest centre with laboratory services, in this case, Prince George.

WaterToday asked how the boil water notice impacts business at Beaver Point Resort. Mrs. Hiebert replied quickly, “People don’t even listen to the water advisories anymore. Most people are drinking bottled water, a lot of people have the five-gallon containers. (The BWA) doesn’t take away from business. This was the first year we have been full all season, even in the rustic cabins, people like the fact they can bring their boat and stay for $50 a night.”

In spite of the water advisory, business is booming at Beaver Point Resort.

“We aren’t a hotel for one-night stay”, says Mrs. Hiebert, “but we have had travelers through from all over the world. A German couple has been back every year for 21 years. This last season we had our first guest from Taiwan.” If you plan to visit Tches

inkut Lake next season, rack up the mountain bikes and stow the fishing rods. Pack your sense of adventure and wonder, and don’t forget to bring your own bedding and towels. www.beaverpointresort.ca

gillian@watertoday.ca







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