Searching for water in Black Pines

Black Pines resident Bob McConnell (left), with his witching rods, and environmental services manager Peter Hughes.

Black Pines resident Bob McConnell (left), with his witching rods, and environmental services manager Peter Hughes.

BLACK PINES — I spent the better part of the morning last Thursday (April 21, 2016) tramping around looking for water.

In Black Pines, finding water isn’t hard — all you have to do is walk towards the North Thompson River. But the TNRD has been unable to find a suitable location for a new water intake for the community water system, so is considering the possibility of a groundwater source instead.

TNRD environmental services director Peter Hughes, utilities manager Arden Bolton, residents Bob McConnell, Bev MacDonald, Craig Campbell and I looked at several spots between the mountains and the river that might hold promise. 

The process was helped out by Bob McConnell, who put his witching rods to work and found at least a couple of dozen underground streams leading down the mountain to the river, at various depths. (It’s amazing how those things work — a couple of us tried it, and the rods really move all on their own.)

However, water quality underground is an issue. Residents who use wells for irrigation report various problems with groundwater including the presence of manganese and iron.

The next decision for the TNRD will be whether to hire a contractor for some test drilling. Coincidentally, a couple of days earlier the TNRD was dealing with a maintenance problem caused by the existing intake being buried in silt, brought on by the early spring rise in the river level.

 

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