And so it ends. The longest boil water advisory in the history of the Comox Valley Regional District was lifted on Tuesday afternoon, 47 days after its Dec. 11, 2014 inception.
What now? Do we ignore the inconvenience? Do we move on to more pressing issues? Are there more pressing issues?
If we are to believe the CVRD, the cause of the elongated turbidity in Comox Lake was an act of nature – a record dry summer, followed by a record wet 48 hours in early December, which churned up glacial silt that had been lying at the bottom of the lake.
No conspiracy theory; no private company to blame; no faulty logging practices at which to point the fingers.
If that is the case, what precautions can be taken to avoid such an occurrence from happening in the future?
When it comes to battling turbidity in the water, there is only one real option – the purchase of a filtration system. That comes with a price tag of somewhere between $50 and $70 million – and if no one but Mother Nature is to blame, taxpayers will have to foot the bill.
Is it worth the money? Many would say it is.
In fact, many would say, in this day and age, drinking water from a supply treated with anything less is flirting with disaster.
So, how do we go about getting it done?
First and foremost, contact your CVRD rep.
In Courtenay, that is Mayor Larry Jangula, Coun. Erik Eriksson, Coun. Bob Wells, and Coun. Manno Theos, who is also the vice-chair for the CVRD. Their email addresses are all available, on the city website (www.courtenay.ca). If you would rather speak to them in person, call 250-334-4441.
In Comox, your reps are Ken Grant and Barbara Price. Their email addresses are also available on the town website (www.comox.ca). They can also be reached by phone at 250-339-2202.
Remember, folks. These are your representatives. They sit on the CVRD board with your best interests in mind. Complaining about the state of our water on Facebook solves nothing. We have a choice here; we can make our politicians aware of our concerns, or we can sit back and wait for this to happen again.
Give your representative a clear direction on whether or not you want to spend the kind of money required to solve this problem – because without your explicit direction, politicians can only surmise what the majority would want.
So give them a call.
Or wait until it happens again. And complain about it on Facebook. For 47 days. The proverbial ball is in your court now, Comox Valley.