|Cusheon Lake is located about the middle of Salt Spring Island about ten minutes driving time
south of Ganges. About 3/4 of the shoreline is surrounded by houses, most of which have been there for quite some time. Houses immediately
on the lake pump their drinking water right from the lake. The Beddis Water system also draws water from Cusheon
Lake. It is filtered and chlorinated, but the taste leaves a bit to be desired especially in summer when there is
an algae bloom. The water is then pumped to a tank on Lautman Road and from there to another tank on Sky Valley Road. It serves about
125 houses on the Sky Valley Road east, and along Beddis Road including the area around Beddis Beach. Cusheon Lake
has cut throat and rainbow trout, as well as small mouth bass in it. A
government report was completed on the water quality data for Cusheon
Lake in 1999. A more extensive
report was completed in 2003.
Water from Blackburn Lake flows through to
Cusheon Lake which in turn empties into Cusheon Creek which flows to the ocean just south of Beddis Beach. Salmon
spawn in the lower parts of Cusheon Creek. A privately operated landfill used to be in operation about 1.5 km up the valley from
Blackburn Lake. Whatever is buried there will likely leach down into Blackburn Lake for many years to come. The
landfill was closed in the late 1990s. Garbage is now hauled off-island for disposal.
Note to users of the Beddis Water System:
The upper water storage tank on Sky Valley Road was cleaned for the first time in four years on July 3 2001. The
Lautman Road tank was cleaned and inspected on July 17 2001. The tank itself was in generally good condition, but
there a corrosion problem was discovered with the bolts that hold the tank together.
There were electrical problems at the Cusheon Lake pump house from around August 4 2002 that persisted for
several days. The actual problem was with the single phase to three phase converters. BC Hydro only has single
phase power available at the pump house but the pumps require three phase power. No water was available for a couple of days on the Beddis Waterworks system until a large generator
was brought in to run the pumps. The generator stayed in continuous use for several days until the problem was