The Blue Water Task Force is the Surfrider Foundation’s volunteer-run water testing education and advocacy program.
The goals of the program are to promote environmental stewardship our community and ensure safe and healthy access to coastal habitats for generations to come.
Why Test The Water?
Southern Vancouver Island is surrounded by water with many local recreational beaches frequented during the summer and winter months. Our local health authority (VIHA) samples these throughout the summer months but stops during fall and winter. Surfrider Vancouver Island is working to fill in these sampling gaps, as well as double-checking summer results, while engaging the public, our members, youth, and First Nations.
Where and what do we test for?
We are sampling from more then 15 different recreational beaches and waterways, 3 of which are fresh water streams, and are testing for Enterococcus (marine) and E. coli (fresh water). We test beaches weekly and sample at least two beaches per field trip. We choose the sampling locations for each sampling event by considering our previous results and those of our local water quality authority.
What are some Local water quality issues?
Water quality is an important social issue with recent media attention and controversy over the new Victoria Sewage Treatment plan. 106 million liters of screened sewage are released daily into the waters off of Victoria’s harbour.
Potentially contaminated storm water is drained directly into the ocean from the Greater Victoria storm drain system. Contamination from farming activities including Marigold Creek drainage of the Panama Flats agricultural area in Saanich. Contamination of urban waterways, such as Bowker Creek and the Gorge Waterway.
Please be advised after heavy rains, it is recommended that people not go into the ocean for at least 24-48 hours because of all the polluted storm water runoff that flows from our streets into the ocean.
OUR PROGRAM IS MADE POSSIBLE THROUGH THE GENEROUS SPONSORSHIP OF MOUNTAIN EQUIPMENT CO-OP AND HARTWIG INDUSTRIES INC.
Without the help of our sponsors, the endeavours that we have set out to achieve would not be possible.