The BC Ministry of Environment retained Associated Environmental to review the province’s ambient groundwater quality sampling network. The goal was to critically review groundwater quality monitoring studies that are being conducted, compare to those in other jurisdictions, and develop recommendations for future monitoring programs. Tasks included interviewing Ministry hydrogeologists and groundwater protection officers in five regional offices, and creating a database of published ambient groundwater reports that date back to 1985.
Based on the findings, we recommended that the Province do the following:
- Continue trend monitoring using the established observation well network
- Continue surveillance monitoring as needed, depending on critical local water quality issues
- Conduct a comprehensive re-analysis of groundwater quality in specific aquifers (the most recent reviews are nearly 40 years old)
- Consider working jointly with the BC Ministry of Health on groundwater studies related to potential health impacts, and develop coordinated sampling programs
- Create a user-friendly, publicly accessible, GIS-based system that includes well locations and all groundwater data