Residents in Crystal Lake are upset about plans for a newly approved Hutterite-run chicken operation near Stenen.

“Both the farming community and the lake community are all very frustrated with this whole thing,” said Wilson Olive, a resident of Crystal Lake.

They are concerned about how the operation could impact the water supply, since the proposed site sits on top of an aquifer.

"We're finding that a lot of other groups, a lot of empathetic groups across the province are saying to us there should not be construction on an aquifer," said Olive.

The Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture has approved the plan for manure and waste storage put forward by the Crystal Lake Hutterite Brethren, saying that it addresses the safety of the water.

“The entire poultry operation is on concrete and indoors, so all the manure will be stored indoors and on concrete,” said Andy Jansen from the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture.

CTV news reached out to the Hutterite Colony for comment, but did not receive an immediate response. Previously, the Hutterites said that they want to do everything by the book when setting up the colony. With the Ministry of Agriculture’s approval, they are now a step closer to making it a reality.

“They have provided plans to use the manure as a fertilizer and they have an adequate land base to do that,” said Jansen.

According to residents, changes to the RM of Keys collective living bylaws were also approved by the province, allowing the colony to set up their housing along with the chicken facility.

Olive says that residents are now considering possible appeals or other actions to continue their efforts in putting the brakes on the development.

“Our next route is simply to take legal process, and that's the consideration that's being given at this point. We're seeking legal advice,” said Olive.

Based on a report by Cole Davenport