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

Sooke Potholes viewing area likely to remain closed

Report says that more rockslides likely in the area

Loud repairs of navy vessel in James Bay peak today

Asterix undergoing repairs at Ogden Point

Home care complaints up 45% on Vancouver Island

Number of home care hours delivered down 6%, complaints up 45 %

‘Blue Monday’ isn’t real, but depression can be

CMHA encourages people to prioritize their mental health

More than 115 people attend UVic blood drive

Canadian Blood Services says UVic is a target location to create lifetime donors

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, personal expense claims

Clerk Craig James, security chief Gary Lenz call allegations ‘completely false’

One-third of pregnant women think cannabis won’t harm their baby: UBC

Review of six U.S. studies found doctors didn’t communicate health risks of pot use

China demands US drop Huawei extradition request with Canada

China detained two Canadians on Dec. 10 in an apparent attempt to pressure Canada to release Meng

Hollywood announces 2019 Oscar nominations

Netflix has scored its first best picture nomination, something the streaming giant has dearly sought

Collapsed floor traps worker at decommissioned North Island pulp mill

Man frees self, escapes injury, investigation underway at Elk Falls facility in Campbell River

Auto shop apologizes after Vancouver Island employees disrespect memorial convoy

Mr. Lube staff members suspended after incident Sunday in Nanaimo

B.C. man fined $10,000 after leaving moose to suffer before death

Surrey man was convicted last week on three Wildlife Act charges

Anti-pipeline group wants NEB to consider impact of emissions, climate change

Stand.earth filed NEB motion asking to apply same standard to the project as it did with Energy East pipeline

Most Read