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Ebbtide Well open as a non-potable water option for residents

Sechelt area households can get up to 378 litres (100 gallons) of non-potable water per day from that municipality’s Ebbtide Well.
N.Water Resource Centre
Sechelt's Ebbtide well, adjacent to its water resource centre on Surf Circle, is open as a non-potable water supply for households.

Looking for an alternative to use of drinking water to sustain outdoor food crops and plantings during Stage 3 restrictions? Sechelt area households can get up to 378 litres (100 gallons) of non-potable water per day from the municipality’s Ebbtide Well. That supply is not available to commercial users.

The filling point for this self-serve, non-potable supply is at 5678 Surf Circle, near the parking area of the Water Resource Centre. The District of Sechelt’s website states it is open around the clock and every day of the week.

Reminders that water is not safe for human consumption are emphasized on that website. It states that Vancouver Coastal Health has inspected the location and that the water has been independently tested and meets the provincially approved Water Quality Guidelines for agricultural use.

As of Aug. 17, an average of 6,000 litres is drawn daily from that source for the District’s own plants, trees and hanging baskets, according to an email to Coast Reporter from Sechelt communications officer Lindsay Vickers. With no rain and continued daytime temperatures in the mid-20 degree range predicted by Environment Canada for the Sechelt area, that demand will continue and increased public use of the site is likely. 

She noted that the water was made available to the public on July 2. The municipality’s current practice is to provide public access once Stage 2 restrictions are in place for the Sunshine Coast Regional District’s (SCRD) Chapman Water System.  That regional system supplies the majority of community water users in Sechelt, as well as in most rural SCRD areas south of Halfmoon Bay. It was moved to Stage 3 restrictions  Aug. 11, which permits only watering of outdoor plantings by hand during restricted morning and evening hours. 

Well licence pending

Sechelt does not hold a licence for that water supply. Vickers stated a licence application was submitted to the province in October 2020. Access to the water, which was first provided to the public in the summer of 2015 and had been used by the municipality before that date, is permitted while the application is under consideration, Sechelt’s website states. 

“Licences take years to obtain from the government, particularly those that may not be considered urgent. Long term, the District of Sechelt plans to keep the Ebbtide Well as a non-potable water source," Vickers wrote.