|There are several "water systems" on Salt Spring Island, but many people obtain their drinking
water from private wells. Some are subject to a low flow in summer. Others have some sulfur content. There is
also one area where measurable amounts of arsenic have been found in the water. Please feel free to send any
information you have about water from the following supplies, data for water quality analyses, government or
private reports, your own comments about water quality, and so on. Please don't hesitate to send information about
other sources of potable water on Salt Spring Island. By the way, the picture of the lily pads at the top of the
page was taken at Cusheon Lake. See Isles West Water
Services for potable water storage tanks.
See the BC Government's
Division for reports on the quality of water supplies in BC. A 1995
report concluded that Blackburn, Bullock, Ford and Stowel Lakes were "marginal sources of domestic drinking water because of their present eutrophic state." However, of the
four, Stowel Lake had the best water quality.
Fishing is popular on all of the accessible lakes. Maxwell Lake is a
source of drinking water for the Ganges area and is closed to the public.
Gas powered boats are banned on all lakes on Salt Spring Island. St. Mary
Lake is regularly stocked with rainbow and cutthroat trout as well as
smallmouth bass. Only fly fishing is allowed on Weston Lake, with a limit
of two trout per day. No motors of any kind are allowed on Blackburn Lake.
Fishing licenses and a copy of the regulations are available at the
Government Agent's office at 343 Lower Ganges Road in Ganges.
Water Borne Diseases in BC
For information on water borne diseases in BC - how they are spread, how common they are, symptoms and what
to do if you catch one - please see Health
File 49A, part of the Health File series put out by the health department of the Government of British