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.

 

Just Posted

Advanced polls see 29 per cent increase in voter turn out from 2015

Some 4.7 million people took part, says Elections Canada

Saanich man charged in cross-border drug smuggling operation pleads guilty

William Milton Barnes was charged following a six-month joint investigation

Showers ahead for Tuesday, to continue all week

Plus a look ahead at your weekend forecast

Everything you need to know before getting the flu shot

Local pharmacist shares concerns, recommendations before flu season hits

Victoria’s Ultimate Toy Fair bounces back into Pearkes

The family-friendly event runs Oct. 19-20 at Pearkes

ELECTION 2019: Climate strikes push environment to top of mind for federal leaders

Black Press Media presents a three-part series on three big election issues

Pot use admission at U.S. border snagging Canadian boomers, says lawyer

A waiver to enter the U.S. can cost $2,000 and isn’t a guarantee

Health concerns over vaping cast haze over Canadian cannabis market expansion

More than 1,000 people in the United States, and a handful in Canada, have developed a lung ailment

UPDATE: British couple vacationing in Vancouver detained in U.S. after crossing border

CBP claims individuals were denied travel authorization, crossing was deliberate

After losing two baby boys, B.C. parents hope to cut through the taboo of infant death

Oct. 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day in B.C.

Cheating husband sues mistress for gifted ring after wife learns about affair

The husband gave his mistress $1,000 to buy herself a ring in December 2017

POLL: Do you think the day of the federal election should be a statutory holiday?

Increasing voter turnout has long been a goal of officials across the… Continue reading

B.C. massage therapist reprimanded, fined for exposing patients’ breasts

Registered massage therapist admits professional misconduct

Most Read