Dear Mayor Don Jewitt and Councillors of the District of Katepwa
Re Lebret’s spring and fall discharges of effluent into Lake Katepwa
During the week of May 22, 2017 Lebret discharged effluent into Lake Katepwa. This effluent will contain nitrate and phosphate pollution that will impact the quality of water downstream. This pollution will affect the clarity of the water. The value of the homes in Katepwa and the success of the businesses in the District are impacted by this pollution.
The University of Regina fourth year Environmental Engineering students worked with CLEM (Calling Lakes Ecomuseum) during the fall and winter in 2015/2016. Please see attached. This project looked at ways to reduce capacity at the Lebret lagoon.
In the student’s report it is noted that Canada is one the largest per capita users of freshwater around the world (Environment Canada,2011). The average domestic Canadian household uses 274 litres of water per person per day, with 29% coming from toilet usage (EPCOR, 2011). Shifting to low flush toilets will reduce the capacity of the Lebret lagoon.
On May 23rd I reached out to Mayor Don Jewitt regarding this issue. I asked Don if the District of Katepwa will say no to this drainage. Here is his response -
Honestly Auralee, I don't see us doing so, any more than we would have the same discussion with the residents of Regina. I can see us stepping up our communication with our own ratepayers, informing them of better practices, asking that septic tanks are intact and not leaking. You have communicated these concerns with Lebret council; I don't see us having any more impact on this front than you have. I am hopeful that their continuing association with WSA will move them to see things more clearly.
At the Calling Lake Ecomuseum we believe our water is worth a conversation, it is worth caring about and it worth connecting with our communities to ensure the wellbeing of all. We believe that Lebret will continue to take the easy route of turning the valve as long as the downstream community allows this bad behavior.
We are happy to see that the District will be stepping up their communication with ratepayers to ensure septic tanks are working. But that doesn’t address the problem that watershed authority is allowing Lebret to dump effluent into Katepwa Lake. What can we do about it? For a start: WSA should not be allowing communities the easy route of dumping effluent into our lakes as an answer to full lagoons. They should be insisting that waste water problems of full lagoons be solved in their own communities.
We will share that we will be reaching out to the media. The media release will focus on educating the public on the effect of not trying to reduce capacity of our lagoons during the time of growth and the effect this pollution will have on the wellbeing of all.
Aura Lee MacPherson