The Rock Bay Contamination Reduction Project is very complex because
it deals with a variety of social, economic and environmental issues in
a watershed context. It has recognised many different issues including
|Water Quality||Urban Runoff|
|Residential Neighbourhood||Business Community|
return to the Burnside Gorge website please click below:
Fecal coliform counts in Rock Bay are high. Fecal coliforms are
bacteria found in water that indicates the presence of feces. This
problem is largely due to dilapidated or collapsed sewer lines and
cross-connections with the storm drain system and pet feces entering
the storm water drainage system.
The City of Victoria has placed a storm
water rehabilitation unit into catchment area 626 and replaced
and upgraded over 96 catch basins in the Rock Bay Watershed.
Water quality testing by the CRD has identified elevated levels of
metals (lead, copper, silver, zinc) and polycyclic-aromatic
hydrocarbons (PAHs) in sediments within Rock Bay. These contaminants
reach the bay via non-point sources, such as urban runoff, throughout
the drainage basin.
A large portion of Rock Bays 434-hectare catchment area is covered
by impervious surfaces such as asphalt and concrete. As rainwater flows
over streets and parking lots it carries oil, antifreeze and
residential chemicals such as fertilizer and soap into the storm drains
that leads to Rock Bay. Upstream actions have downstream consequences,
therefore something as simple as washing your car on the street causes
further pollution in the creek.
To educate the public about non-point source pollutants and what can
be done to reduce their negative impact on the environment and Rock
Bay, the Burnside Gorge Community Association implemented a watershed
education program as well as a residential
pledge program that you can now take online.
Traditionally residents have not thought of themselves as being part
of a watershed and therefore cannot perceive the impact individual
choices can have on the environment.
Residential neighbourhoods within the Rock Bay watershed includes:
Click here to see a map of the Rock Bay Watershed
Residents can now take a watershed
pledge to learn how some simply can changes can make a big
The historical and current predominance of commercial land uses in
the watershed has contributed high levels of oils and solvents, and
metals such as silver, copper, lead, mercury and zinc into Rock Bay.
It is often difficult to determine sources of contaminants due to
the many land uses within the catchment area for Rock Bay. Progress is
being made through the work of the Burnside Gorge Community Association
and the Rock Bay Restoration Committee. This group has been working
with local businesses and partners on
implementing best management practices for the following industries:
The Rock Bay drainage basin was a stream that has been modified over
the years to facilitate storm water removal. This has contributed to
poor water quality and habitat loss in Rock Bay. The salt-water marsh
that once provided habitat for fish and wildlife has disappeared.
Urbanization in the drainage basin has increased impervious surfaces
such as roofs, driveways, parking lots and roads, and has consequently
changed the natural hydrological conditions and altered runoff rates.
A large component of the City
of Victoria’s storm drain project is stormwater management to
resolve storm drain deficiencies and flooding. The City of Victoria is
increasing the size of the catch basins in the watershed and has
installed two storm water rehabilitation units, which will help in
reducing the amount of contaminants entering Rock Bay.