Adams Lake-Sahhltkum IR#4 Water Treatment and Reservoir

Project Location.
The general location of the site: It is located on the western shoreline of Little Shuswap Lake situated in the southern Interior of British Columbia, northwest of Chase, BC. The site sits at an approximate elevation of 352 metres above sea level (masl) and is approximately 50 m from the shoreline of Little Shuswap Lake. The South Thompson River flows from Little Shuswap Lake near the project location.

The project site is located on Sahhaltkum I.R. #4 and has an approximate population of 304 people and 106 private dwellings (Census CAN, 2016). The I.R. #4 water system supplies water for all 106 homes, as well as the Band's administration offices, School, Gym and Firehall located in the main village.

Both of the supply wells are located within mapped Aquifer 237 IIIC, which extends from the Village of Chase along little Shuswap Lake until the valley pinches out on Niskonlith Creek. Aquifer 237 is classified as a sand and gravel water bearing unit that were formed in a lacustrine environment during the Fraser Glaciation. A confining layer of clay and silt is identified as sitting above the aquifer in many places. The primary sources of recharge for the aquifer are infiltration of runoff, precipitation, and in areas without the confining unit, the South Thompson River and Little Shuswap Lake. Aquifer 237 is classified as having moderate productivity, moderate demand and low vulnerability due to the shallow depth to water and moderately high degree of confinement (ALIB Well Assessment by Wester Water Associates Ltd. (WWAL)-2019).

Scope of Work.
Scope of work for water system infrastructure upgrades.
Required water system infrastructure upgrades are as follows:
1. New water treatment and control facility: Infrastructure
in a new water treatment and control facility would include:
- UV treatment equipment;
- Chlorination equipment;
- Filtration equipment;
- Headers, piping and valves;
- Electrical, Mechanical, Pump Controls and SCADA equipment;
- Office and water laboratory area;
- Site servicing. Site grading, water, sanitary, tie-in's, appurtenances,
storm, genset, parking, hydro, communications, gas service and legal
2. Relocate a portion of sanitary sewer force main and gravity sewer pipe.
3. New well pumps and motors.
4. Shock-Chlorinate and Assessment of Biofouling in Wells
5. Re-condition Well 1 as a backup well.
6. Dedicated water supply line to existing reservoirs

Biophysical Assessment.
WWAL's Junior Biologist, Gina Le Bel B.Sc., B.I.T. and Field Technician, Gabe Geller completed a biophysical assessment of the project footprint, excluding Section 1A, on July 9, 2019. Section 1A was investigated by Ms. Le Bel on August 25, 2019. All assessments were completed under the direction of WWAL's Senior Biologist and
Qualified Environmental Professional (QEP), Trina Koch, B.Sc., R.P.Bio. Field investigation included assessing the Village Reservoir area, vegetated hillside between Village Reservoir Road and Lakeview Road and about 15 m along both sides of Kamloops-Shuswap Road. Field staff noted existing infrastructure, vegetation and wildlife (or wildlife sign) and searched for plant and animal species at risk. The following sections summarizes results of the site investigation and our review of provincial databases and online mapping applications.(WWAL-2019).

Existing Infrastructure.
The project footprint includes some road surface (i.e. gravel or concrete) and road shoulder, which may include a portion of a ditch.
Existing infrastructure within and near the footprint of each Section includes the following:
- Section 1: Unpaved Village Reservoir Road, the Village reservoir and perimeter fencing;
- Section 1A: Densely vegetated hillside above an agricultural field dominated by native plant species and vegetated Lakeview Road edge;
- Section 2: Paved and partially-ditched Mountainview Road, bordered on one side by single-family residences and the other side by agricultural land;
- Section 3: Paved and partially-ditched Lakeview Road, bordered on both sides by single-family residences;
- Sections 4 – 8: Paved and well-ditched Kamloops-Shuswap Road, bordered on both sides by agricultural land and rural residential lots.

Proposed works are located within the Interior Douglas Fir (IDF) Biogeoclimatic zone, very hot and dry (xh2) subvariant (BC Government 2018). This zone is characterized by long, hot summers and forests of Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) and ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) with dry, relatively open understories.

Eighteen native plant species and twenty-seven invasive plant species were observed growing within the footprint of each section. There were notable differences in species composition along the road edge (i.e. where vegetation meets gravel or pavement) and within ditches. Road edges were dominated by invasive vegetation that included white sweet clover (Melilotus albus), cheatgrass (Bromus spp.), spotted knapweed (Centaurea biebersteinii), goat's-beard (Tragopogon dubius), orchard grass (Dactylis glomerata), chicory (Cichorium intybus), rush skeleton weed (Chondrilla juncea), and wild mustard (Sinapis arvensis). In ditches, especially those that were deep and wetted, there were numerous pockets of native species including Saskatoon berry, (Amelanchier alnifolia), pin cherry, (Prunuspensylvanica), prickly rose (Rosa acicularis), common snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus), and trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides) with the occasional ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa). Species composition unique to each section, or group of sections, is discussed below. 
Section 1 was dominated by native flora. Although a narrow corridor of invasive species grew along the immediate road edge and invasive grass and baby's breath (Gypsophila paniculata) grew along the westernmost 20 m, the remaining 350 m flourished with native species. The wetted areas were dominated by trembling aspen, Douglas maple (Acer glabrum) and black hawthorn (Crataegus douglasii), while drier areas fostered saskatoon berry, common
snowberry and Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium). Mowed lawn grass grew within the project footprint inside the fenced area at the Village Reservoir.
Section 1A was also dominated by native vegetation except for the road edges. From Village Reservoir Road north there was approximately a 100 m section dominated by Saskatoon berry and other native shrubs interspersed with apple trees. North of this 100 m section was a densely forested area of Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), ponderosa pine, and Douglas maple with a relatively open understory. Within 15 m of Lakeview Road, vegetation shifts from forest to grass and invasive species. One large white poplar within 2 m of the road edge.
Sections 2 and 3 included a mixture of invasive, native and ornamental vegetation species. Ornamental vegetation grew within the front yards of the single-family lots and invasive species grew along the road edge. Patches of native vegetation, largely comprised of Saskatoon berry and trembling aspen, grew in ditches.
The majority of biomass within the ditches of Sections 4 – 8 was represented by common snowberry, pin cherry and Saskatoon berry however within 5 m of the road edge invasive species dominated particularly white sweet clover.

The native shrubs and trees surrounding the project footprint have the potential to support native wildlife habitat. Saskatoon berry, pin cherry, trembling aspen, and common snowberry have the potential to provide cover for rodents, nesting sites and forage for birds including blue grouse (Dendragapus obscures) and some BC listed species
including the blue-listed canyon wren (Catherpes mexicanus), and blue-listed barn swallow (Hirundo rustica). These species also provide browse for larger mammals including coyote (Canis latrans), white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), and black bear (Ursus americanus) (ENV 2018; Lloyd et al. 1990). The drier grassy upland areas have the potential to provide habitat and hunting opportunities for North American racer
(Coluber constrictor), red-listed sharp tailed snake (Contia tenuis), blue-listed gopher snake (Pituophis catenifer), and blue-listed western rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus) (Lloyd et al. 1990).
The forested upland area northwest of the worksite, and within Section 1 have the potential to support a variety of mammals that may move through the project footprint, including American black bear (Ursus americanus), bobcat (Lynx rufus), fisher (Martes pennant), grey wolf (Canis lupus), lynx (Lynx canadensis), mountain goat (Oreamnos americanus), cougar (Puma concolor), northern flying squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus), porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum), silver haired bat (Lasionycteris noctivagans) and wolverine (Gulo gulo) (Lloyd et al. 1990).
During the field assessment Ms. Le Bel observed bear feces in Section 1 and unidentified songbirds in trees along the length of the project footprint.

Species at Risk.
The Conservation Data Centre (CDC) identified five species at risk in or within 10 kms of the project footprint, including a masked species. These included the red-listed sharp-tailed snake (Contia tenuis), American Badger (Taxidea taxus), and Satinflower (Olsynium douglasii var. inflatum), and the blue-listed painted turtle (Chrysemys picta pop. 2) (ENV 2019a). The CDC indicated that the proposed project presented low risk to the species as long as general environmental best management practices were included with the proposed works (Pers. Comm. CDC 2019).

Species at risk known to inhabit grassy meadows downslope of forest and forested areas within the IDFxh2 Biogeoclimatic Zone and the Thompson Nicola Regional District (TNRD). These include ten red-listed species and thirty-eight blue-listed species (ENV 2019b). Of all the species listed in Appendix C, the red-listed American badger, sage thrasher (Oreoscoptes montanus) and satinflower and the blue-listed gopher snake (Pituophis catenifer), western rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus) and Columbia plateau pocket mouse (Perognathus parvus) are the most likely to be impacted by project works, if present.


Potential Environemntal Impacts.
Although proposed works are far from water bodies and most sections are unlikely to impact native habitat due to previous disturbance (i.e. road, reservoir and residential development). Section 1A has the highest risks of impacts to native plants and animals as it is the highest quality habitat and only section not along a road edge. All excavation and vegetation removal should be as conservative as possible to limit impacts to native flora and fauna. Potential environmental impacts of the proposed project include the following:
- Destruction of or damage to migratory bird habitat and/or nests from clearing, pruning or excavation;
- Destruction of habitat or damage to species at risk;
- Further spread of invasive weeds; and
- Destruction or damage to native terrestrial plants.

Environmental Mitigation.
The following mitigation strategies to help protect habitat features from being negatively impacted during proposed works comply with Best Management Practices for Installation and Maintenance of Water Line Intakes (ENV 2006), Guidelines for Raptor Conservation during Urban and Rural Land Development in British Columbia (ENV 2013) and Best Management Practices for Amphibians and Reptiles in Urban and Rural Environments in British Columbia (MWLAP 2004).
- Minimize machine works and maintain equipment in excellent working condition;
- Report any observed species at risk to the CDC;
- Leave native wildlife, dens and nests unharmed;
- Clean equipment air filters and ensure they are functioning well;
- Keep a spill kit onsite in the event of a hydrocarbon spill;
- Reseed disturbed areas with a native seed mix to limit the spread of invasive vegetation;
- Remove all invasive weeds from the site and clean machinery before using it at another job site.

This simple environmental assessment summarizes the onsite observations and assessments from July 9, 2019 and provides potential environmental impacts and mitigative strategies to address those impacts. If the mitigation in this Memo is followed, the spread of invasive vegetation can be minimized and native habitat should be minimally impacted.


Latest update

September 30, 2022 - Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) issued its Notice of Determination and determined that the project:
- is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.



Indigenous Services Canada
Fasih Siddiqui, Senior Engineer
1138 Melville Street
Vancouver, British Columbia V6E 4S3
Telephone: 604-376-0802
Fax: 604-775-7149

  • Location

    • 07155 - SAHHALTKUM 4 (British Columbia)
  • Nature of Activity

    • Other, not otherwise specified
  • Assessment Status

    In progress
  • Start Date

  • Proponent

    Adams Lake Indian Band
  • Authorities

    • Indigenous Services Canada
  • Assessment Type

    Project on federal lands
  • Reference Number


This map is for illustrative purposes. The markers represent the approximate locations based on available data. More than one marker may be identified for a given assessment.


Nearby assessments

...within 200 kilometres
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