are possible ways to impact groundwater?
There are many ways that we impact groundwater including using
the groundwater (quantity) and adding contaminants (quality).
Potential land use contaminants include septage discharge, lawn
and garden chemicals, road salting, leaks and spills from fuel
storage and handling among others.
For further information about potential groundwater contamination,
please see: Environment
||How do we go about protecting
It is likely that groundwater protection measures will include
both regulatory and non-regulatory tools. Regulatory tools could
include such things as restrictions on use of chemicals such
as garden chemicals and limited transportation of dangerous
goods along routes near existing wells. Non-regulatory tools
may include public education and decommissioning of unused deep
||What is an Aquifer?
"Although groundwater exists everywhere under the ground,
some parts of the saturated zone contain more water than others.
An aquifer is an underground formation of permeable rockor loose
material which can produce useful quantities of water when tapped
by a well. Aquifers come in all sizes and their origin and composition
is varied. They may be small, only a few hectares in area, or
very large, underlying thousands of square kilometres of the
earth's surface. They may be only a few metres thick, or they
may measure hundreds of metres from top to bottom." Environment
There are generally two types of aquifers: confined and unconfined.
A confined aquifer is separated from the surface by an impermeable
layer. The result is that a confined aquifer is less vulnerable
to contamination than an unconfined aquifer, but water recharge
into these aquifers tends to be much slower. An unconfined aquifer
has interactions with the surface which generally results in
regular recharge, but makes this water source more vulnerable
For further information on groundwater please see: Environment
||What aquifer does this
GPP refer to?
The District of Invermere currently draws water from an aquifer
located in the Athalmer area referred to as the Athalmer Aquifer.
The Athalmer Aquifer is a deeper, semi-confined alluvial sand
and gravel aquifer. The District tapped into this aquifer with
one municipal well in 2006 and the result is a high-yield municipal
well. The District must prepare a GPP to protect against possible
contamination of this aquifer as required by the operating permit
for the well.
||How does a GPP apply
to an aquifer?
A GPP is a management tool and only applies to the portion of
an aquifer that a community intends to manage through land use
planning and other protection measures. Typically, the GPP only
applies to the area of the aquifer that the community intends
to draw water from and/or directly impacts through activities
above the surface.
||Where are we in the process
to protect it?
Through this GPP, we are at the beginning of a comprehensive
risk assessment and mitigation strategy development. While community
members and agencies have been working to protect groundwater
in a variety of ways over the years, this is the first time
we will have a clear understanding of the aquifers' coverage,
volume and the possible surface risks.
we have the GPP in place, we will be able to monitor the water
quantity and quality to ensure protection measures are sufficient.
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