Green water was seen at Willows Beach on Jan. 7. (Photo by Rocky Holmes)

Green water flowing into ocean at Willows Beach no cause for concern

Oak Bay was conducting sewage tests using an EPA certified tracing dye

Green water spotted running into Willows Beach this week was an environmentally safe tracing dye, said David Brozuk, Oak Bay superintendent of public works.

“It’s basically to see if there’s a cross connection from a sewer service into a storm service,” Brozuk said. “We don’t want any sewage to get into our outfalls, then into the ocean.”

READ ALSO: Heavy rains cause wastewater overflows in Oak Bay, Saanich

Generally, there are two types of lines. One handles household sewage, while the other handles wastewater such as rainwater or gardening runoff. The naturally occurring runoff can go directly through sewer outfalls into the ocean, but crews need to monitor to make sure there’s no cross-contamination with any potentially toxic sewage. The municipality frequently tests lines and trenches when a house is undergoing renovations or having its sewer system upgraded.

READ ALSO: Oak Bay awards Humber design for Uplands sewer separation

“Older houses have storm and sewer lines in the same trench. After 60 to 70 years the sewer and storm line seals start to disintegrate or wear away, which can cause the sewage to enter the storm line that would put in into the ocean,” Brozuk explained.

According to Brozuk, the municipality conducts between 150 and 200 such tests every year. Usually, the discoloured water washes away in a few hours, though dry weather can sometimes cause it to linger. The tests are mandated by the Capital Regional District and paid for by Oak Bay. Brozuk estimated that each test costs approximately $200, meaning the municipality spends around $35,000 conducting tracing tests yearly.



jesse.laufer@oakbaynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Struggling Victoria adoption agency elects new board that intends to keep it open

The previous board announced that Choices would close May 31

Chinese Culture to light up 2019 Victoria Day Parade

Groups hopes Greater Victorians ‘view the culture, embrace the friendship’

Highlands group invites provincial leaders to a panel opposing local mining application

The public forum begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Highlands Community Hall, 729 Finlayson Arm Rd.

Uplands Park champion to earn provincial award

B.C. Community Award for Margaret Lidkea coincides with Sunday’s volunteer celebration

Sooke volunteers work to save salmon and whales

A half million fish will be released

VIDEO: Killer whales hunt for seals in Vancouver harbour

Bigg’s killer whales feed on marine mammals like seals, sea lions, dolphins and even other whales

VIDEO: B.C.’s waving granny gets incredible send-off from school kids

Tinney Davidson has been waving at students on their way to school for over 11 years, but is moving in a month

Island-born Snowbirds pilot enjoying homecoming in skies over Comox

Logan Reid once stood clinging onto the fence outside the Comox Air… Continue reading

Attack on student in Courtenay ‘way more than bullying’, says mom

A Comox Valley mother said “it was way more than bullying” at… Continue reading

Vancouver man, 19, charged in human trafficking case involving teen girl

The 16-year-old girl was reported missing and later discovered in Vancouver

Blaine, Wash. inn owner, charged with smuggling people into B.C., granted bail

Robert Joseph Boule ordered to turn away anyone indicating a plan to enter Canada illegally

CURATOR’S COLUMN: Dressing up exhibits at the museum

Montana Stanley | Contributed While looking for culture material to supplement the… Continue reading

Most Read