Water Quality Testing Results for 2016

In 2016, 26 water samples were collected from 17 sampling locations (Figure 1) and were tested for the number of bacterial cells present in the sample. Three of the sample locations were freshwater, thus were analyzed for E. coli. The other 14 sample locations were marine water, thus were analyzed for Enterococcus. Results of the bacterial analyses are shown in Table 1 and Figures 2 and 3.

Figure 1. Blue Water Task Force Water Quality Sampling Locations

 

Table 1. Blue Water Task Force 2016 Water Quality Testing Results

Site Name Date E. coli Rating a (CFU/100 ml) Enterococcus Rating b (CFU/100 ml) Rain in last 3 days  
Muir Creek December 3, 2016 Low (0) yes  
Elk Lake November 28, 2016 Low (0) yes  
Elk Lake November 28, 2016 Low (0) yes  
Elk Lake November 28, 2016 Low (1) yes  
Sombrio Beach November 13, 2016 Low (0) yes  
Willow’s Beach North October 31, 2016 Medium (40) yes  
Willow’s Beach South October 31, 2016 Low (10) yes  
Gorge Waterway – upper October 17, 2016 Low (0) yes  
Gonzales Beach September 6, 2016 Medium (75) yes  
Fleming Beach August 21, 2016 Low (20) no  
Cadboro Beach August 2, 2016 Medium (216) no  
Willows Beach July 7, 2016 Low (9) yes  
Island View Beach April 13, 2016 Low (10) yes  
Thetis Lake April 4, 2016 Medium (210) yes  
Cadboro Beach March 14, 2016 Medium (41) yes  
Clover Point March 7, 2016 Low (10) yes  
Clover Point February 22, 2016 Medium (72) yes  
Clover Point February 15, 2016 Medium (115) yes  
Esquimalt Lagoon – freshwater February 8, 2016 High (750) yes  
Esquimalt Lagoon – marine February 8, 2016 Low (0) yes  
Gorge Waterway – lower February 1, 2016 Medium (113) yes  
Jordan River January 18, 2016 Medium (41) yes  
Clover Point January 11, 2016 Low (0) yes  
Gorge Waterway – lower January 11, 2016 Low (20) yes  
Island View Beach January 11, 2016 Medium (63) yes  
Willows Beach January 11, 2016 Low (10) yes  

Notes:

CFU = colony forming unit

a E. coli rating is for freshwater samples: Low = 0 – 199; Medium = 200 – 999; High > 1,000.

b Enterococcus rating: Low = 0 – 34; Medium – 36 – 174; High > 175.

Colilert reagent pack is used with freshwater samples (E.coli bacteria).

Enterolert reagent pack is used with marine water samples (Enterococcus bacteria species).

 Figure 2. BWTF 2016 Marine Water Sample Results

 

Figure 3. BWTF 2016 Fresh Water Sample Results

 

Of the water samples collected in 2016: 58% had a low bacterial count, 38% had a medium bacterial count, and 4% had a high bacterial count. Overall, the 2016 results indicate that the bacterial counts at local beaches are unlikely to pose a risk to human health and they are safe for recreational purposes (e.g., swimming and surfing). These encouraging results occurred despite there being rain in the three days prior to the majority (92%) of samples collected.

We are always looking for volunteers for this program! 

If you would like to get involved with the Blue Water Task Force Team, send an e-mail to: 

bwytf@vancouverisland.surfrider.org