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

Youth have privacy rights, doctor tells inquest into Oak Bay teen’s opioid death

Elliot Eurchuk died of a drug overdose. He was found unresponsive in his bedroom in April 2018

Saanich councillor says residents owed a bylaw like the rescinded EDPA

Coun. Nathalie Chambers also says council needs to apologize to a staff member

RCMP fine man $1,150 for camping, lighting campfire in Mill Hill Regional Park

Campfires prohibited at all regional parks except designated campgrounds

Victoria sees many new landmarks between 2018-2019

Bridges, buildings and more have popped up across Victoria in the past year

Woman flees North Saanich RCMP in dinghy

Victoria woman tries to escape in dinghy, arrested for break and enter, theft and mischief

Victoria church displays memorial tapestry for those lost to opioid crisis

Christ Church Cathedral hosts talks on opioid crisis on June 26 and July 3

POLL: Do you support the government’s decision to approve the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion?

The federal government announced Tuesday its approval for the Trans Mountain pipeline… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

VIDEO: Rare white killer whale captured by drone near Campbell River

The transient orca has been named Tl’uk, a Coast Salish word that means ‘moon.’

B.C. oil tanker ban squeaks through final vote in Senate

Bill C-48 bars oil tankers from loading at ports on B.C’s north coast

‘When thunder roars, go indoors’: How to keep safe before lightning strikes

Each year, an estimated 10 deaths and as many as 164 injuries are lightning-related

B.C. rolls out online registration to speed up evacuee processing

Central Okanagan district tests province’s streamlined emergency management digital self-registration

NHL Draft 2019: First-round mock selections

Hughes expected to go No. 1 overall; Canucks have 10th pick

B.C.-born Carey Price brings young fan to tears at NHL Awards banquet

Anderson Whitehead first met his hockey idol after his mother died of cancer

Most Read