Belcarra Aquifer Forum
(April 16, 2002)

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Councillor Jennifer Glover, Chair, Environmental Affairs Councillor Jennifer Glover,
Environmental Affairs Chair,
opens the Belcarra Aquifer Forum.
Jo Leddingham, Belcarra Beachkeepers
Resident Jo Ledingham talks
about the
Belcarra Beachkeepers organization and its activities educating the public about protecting the foreshore habitat and its many marine aquatic inhabitants.
Marc Zubel, Regional Hydrogeologist Key note speaker of the evening:
Marc Zubel, Regional Hydrogeologist,
BC Ministry of Water, Land & Air Protection
(WLAP).
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Groundwater aquifer demonstration model. Demonstration model used to illustrate the movement of groundwater in different types of aquifer.
WLAP map showing the location of the Belcarra Aquifer. WLAP map showing the location of the Belcarra Aquifer. WLAP has classified 421 aquifers throughout BC, and the Belcarra Aquifer was one of only 17 designated with a “Category 1A” rating that reflects the high concentration of wells in the area and vulnerability to potential contamination.
Belcarra observation well location map. WLAP map showing the many deep-drilled wells in Belcarra and the location of observation well #349. The purpose of the observation well is to monitor groundwater level fluctuations of the Belcarra Aquifer as part of the provincial aquifer monitoring program.
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Belcarra observation well and data chart recorder. Belcarra observation well #349 and data chart recorder. Location of the observation well is adjacent to the Tatlow Fire Protection Water Tank on Main Avenue. The 15cm (6”) diameter well was drilled to a depth of 82m (269 ft.) – See Drill Log
Graph of observation well drawdown and recovery data. Graph of observation well drawdown and recovery data. This graph and additional information is contained in the June 2001 WLAP report:
Drilling, Construction & Testing of Observation Well #349
(Adobe Acrobat PDF format, 2.7Mb)
Belcarra Observation Well Hydrograph Belcarra observation well hydrograph showing the monthly changes in water level. This graph is available online at the WLAP website:
http://wlapwww.gov.bc.ca/wat/gws/obswell/obsw349.html

Note:
Download the Excel spreadsheet at the bottom of the WLAP webpage to examine the most recent well monitoring data.
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Groundwater and world's freshwater supply. According to some estimates, the quantity of groundwater in the earth would cover the entire surface of the globe to a depth of 120 metres. For more information, consult Environment Canada's
groundwater website.
Percentage of Canadian population reliant on groundwater. In Canada, 7.9 million people, or 26% of the population, rely on groundwater for domestic use. In BC, 22% of the population are reliant on groundwater. This graph and much more excellent information is available at Environment Canada's groundwater website:
http://www.ec.gc.ca/water/en/nature/grdwtr/e_gdwtr.htm
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Groundwater Flow Groundwater – Always on the move. Permeable material contains interconnected cracks or spaces that are both numerous enough and large enough to allow water to move freely. For more information, consult Environment Canada's
groundwater website.
Main Types of Porosity In some permeable materials groundwater may move several metres in a day; in other places, it moves only a few centimetres in a century. For more information, consult Environment Canada's
groundwater website.
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Aquifers and Wells Fractured aquifers are rocks in which the groundwater moves through cracks, joints or fractures in otherwise solid granite rock such as is found in many areas of Belcarra. For more information, consult Environment Canada's
groundwater website.
The Hydrologic Cycle The Hydrologic Cycle – Evaporation, transpiration, condensation, precipitation, run-off, & percolation. All contribute to subterranean groundwater that is held in cracks and pore spaces underground.
For more information, consult Environment Canada's
groundwater website.
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Groundwater contamination from waste disposal site. Groundwater contaminants come from two categories of sources: point sources and distributed, or non-point sources. Landfills, leaking gasoline storage tanks, leaking septic tanks, and accidental spills are examples of point sources. For more information, consult Environment Canada's
groundwater website.
Effect of concentrated housing on groundwater levels. Groundwater flow in the aquifers underlying surface drainage basins, however, does not always mirror the flow of water on the surface. Therefore, groundwater may move in different directions below the ground than the water flowing on the surface. For more information, consult Environment Canada's
groundwater website.
Septic effluent percolates to the watertable. Septic systems are designed so that some of the sewage is degraded in the tank and some is degraded and absorbed by the surrounding sand and subsoil. Contaminants that may enter groundwater from septic systems include bacteria, viruses, detergents, and household cleaners. For more information, consult Environment Canada's
groundwater website.
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