Fears wells may run dry as Langley aquifer drops

Fears wells may run dry as Langley aquifer drops

Residents over the Hopington aquifer are worried about recent declines

Residents who draw their water from part of Langley Township’s Hopington aquifer are worried about well levels – and some are at odds with the Township over the cause of the sudden drop.

The issue was raised Monday afternoon by Councillor Kim Richter, who lives in the area.

“There is a developing crisis situation here in water levels, which I believe we must address,” she said.

The region, near 248th Street between Highway One and Fraser Highway, has a significant number of homes with relatively shallow wells. For some residents, running dry during the summer has long been a risk.

But Richter said it appears the reservoirs are being emptied far faster than normal. A pond on her property is as low as it usually would be in August.

Local residents have placed the blame on the collapse of an embankment, which they say has opened the aquifer and is spilling water into the Salmon River. The site is near where a water pipeline to Aldergrove was built several years ago.

“That’s going to make a lot of wells run dry,” Richter said.

But Ramin Seifi, the township’s manager of engineering and community development, said that a geotechnical engineer brought in to look at the declining water levels had found it is likely another issue.

Early indications have found no relationship between the slope failure and the water levels, Seifi said.

Instead, it’s a combination of dry weather and the larger number of people at home due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Seifi said there’s been a 30 per cent increase on domestic water usage as more people stay at home, with workplaces and schools closed.

Meanwhile, rainfall was down 40 per cent in April and early May, Seifi said.

A full report from the geotechnical engineer is expected within a few weeks, Seifi said.

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