Surfers ride a wave at Jordan River beach. CRD will conduct testing following reports a closed mine may have contaminated the popular beach. Photo by Lee-Ann Ruttan

Surfing area to be tested for pollution

CRD will conduct testing following reports a closed mine may have contaminated the popular beach

The Capital Regional District will monitor Jordan River’s coastal waters after metal contaminants were recently detected in the water.

The water tests, which were taken by the CRD from the water located above the bridge, found levels of copper, though not enough to show a toxic hazard to humans, said Juan de Fuca Director Mike Hicks.

“If there’s a problem, we’ll tell you about it,” Hicks said, adding that the CRD is not aware of any problem in the ocean.

The CRD operates the Jordan River Regional Park, and is responsible for its upkeep and safety within its boundaries. The spot is frequented by campers and surfers alike throughout the year.

“We’ll do the testing to make sure it’s safe for our customers, and we’re quite confident that it is,” Hicks said.

Samples of the water in and around the coastal regions of Jordan River were done as part of CRD’s storm water quality program, which monitors storm water discharge points along the CRD shoreline.

The monitoring process takes place every five years, said Dale Green, supervisor of the CRD’s integrated watershed management program.

“Through our storm water quality program, we have a sampling point that’s just on the banks of the river just upstream from the bridge on the westside,” Green said. “Over the years, we did find some copper at that location, but not at levels that trigger our marine sediment quality guidelines.”

Green noted that the only reason metals exist in the water is due to Jordan River’s past industry, notably copper mining, that led to the contamination. He noted the CRD has found other metals in the water, but copper is the most prevalent.

“We may be doing more sampling, we just have to take stock of all the bits of data that are coming in right now,” he said, adding that his team only sampled eight metals.

“It’s not a comprehensive environmental assessment, we have eight indicator metals that we use to look for sources of contamination, mostly industrial stuff.”

The Jordan River area has a long history with mining after the copper mine was discovered at the turn of the century, leading to mass extraction of minerals such as copper, silver and gold.

At this point, the CRD, along with the Department of Fisheries, Teck Resources (the owner of the long-gone copper mine), the Pacheedaht First Nation and the Ministry of Environment are collaborating as part of a remediation effort to clean up Jordan River watershed.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Edward Milne students clean up Whiffen Spit

Volunteers find styrofoam, cigarette butts and a single shoe

Greater Victoria hardly making a dent in greenhouse gas emissions target

One-per-cent drop from 2007 to 2018 a far cry from the 33-per-cent goal for 2020

VIDEO: Seal pup and mom play and ‘kiss’ in Oak Bay Marina

BRNKL seal cam captures harbour seal growing up in busy harbour

Hearing begins into blind community’s complaint against BC Transit, City of Victoria

Complainant says bike lane infrastructure biased against blind pedestrians

More than $800,000 in suspected cocaine seized from ship near Victoria

RCMP Dive Team suspects more narcotics had been stored below ship’s waterline

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Old-growth forest defenders in Campbell River call for B.C. forest minister’s resignation

Protestors outside North Island MLA’s office ask government to stop old-growth logging

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

High-volume littering at Cape Scott draws ire from hiking groups

Popular Vancouver Island hiking spot not closing, but frustration about crowding grows

SFU to drop ‘Clan’ varsity team name

The ‘Clan’ name is shortened from ‘Clansmen,’ and was introduced roughly 55 years ago

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

B.C. to hire 500 more COVID-19 contact tracers ahead of fall

Contract tracers add an ‘extra layer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus

Feds commit $305M in additional funds for Indigenous communities during COVID-19

Money can be used to battle food insecurity and support children and mental health

We were a bit tone deaf: Hobo Cannabis renamed Dutch Love after backlash

Hobo Cannabis has various locations in Vancouver, Kelowna and Ottawa

Most Read