The Blue Water Task Force is Surfrider Vancouver Island’s volunteer-run water testing education and advocacy program.
The goals of the program are to promote environmental stewardship in our community and ensure safe and healthy access to coastal habitats for generations to come.
Why Test The Water?
Southern Vancouver Island has many local recreational beaches and waterways that are enjoyed by thousands of people during the summer and winter months. Our local health authority (VIHA) samples these waters throughout the summer, but stops during the 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 sample from more than 15 different recreational beaches and waterways, three of which are fresh water streams, and are testing for Enterococcus (marine) and E. coli (fresh water). 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 litres of screened sewage are released daily into the waters off of Victoria’s harbour. And although a new facility is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2020, dirty and/or contaminated storm water from urban waterways is drained directly into the ocean from the Greater Victoria storm drain system.
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.
If you would like to get involved and help us test our local waters, please contact Brian Raymer at firstname.lastname@example.org.