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

Fun zone the heart of Sooke’s 20th-anniversary celebration

Donations in remembrance of Hannah Day showed the community’s generosity

Junior Shamrocks fall to Northmen in 2019 Minto Cup

Orangeville tops Victoria in three-game sweep

Buffy the audience slayer: St. Marie coming to Sidney

Powerful live shows a big part of veteran Canadian folk star’s success; she’s here Sept. 26-27

Victoria Shamrocks shoot for the WLA title on home floor

Senoir lacrosse team takes on Maple Ridge in Colwood Sunday at 6 p.m.

Trudeau to meet with U.K. and Japanese prime ministers ahead of G7 summit

French President Emmanuel Macron, this year’s G7 host, has little expectations of a unified front from the leaders

Vancouver Island man dead after reported hit-and-run incident

Oceanside RCMP seek public’s help gathering information

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

The media literacy campaign to focus on identifying misinformation and suspicious sources online

Big rally in northern B.C. draws attention to continuing lumber crisis

Mayor Joan Atkinson says about 400 workers have been directly affected by the closure of the Canfor mill

Orangeville Northmen take Minto Cup at Langley Events Centre

Swept best-of-five series 3-0 over Victoria Shamrocks

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Most Read