Esquimalt officials say no evidence of sewer leak after Gorge Swim Fest cancelled

Esquimalt officials say no evidence of sewer leak after Gorge Swim Fest cancelled

The Gorge Swim Fest was cancelled after unknown contamination was found in the Gorge Waterway. 

The Township of Esquimalt said unknown contamination that led to the cancellation of the Gorge Swim Fest does not appear to be from a broken sewer line.

Esquimalt?s engineering and public works department was notified about the substance on July 30 before the annual swimming event. The Township of Esquimalt said the substance was introduced into the Gorge Waterway at Gorge Creek.

The creek flows through the western boundary of Esquimalt Gorge Park.

Five booms were brought to the creek to contain the substance.  Island Health, Spill BC and the Capital Regional District also responded to the spill.

READ MORE: ?Might be an algae bloom?: Esquimalt official of polluted water that cancelled Gorge Swim Fest

Engineering and public works said Monday that there is no evidence that the contamination is from a sewer line because the collection system showed no signs of failure and leaks.

Samples of the contaminated water are currently being analyzed.

Visual inspection of the water column suggests the substance could be an algae bloom, the township said, but the water is also being tested for fecal coliform counts.

Testing is expected to be finished later this week and once the substance is identified, the township will develop a remediation plan.

Crews are monitoring the creek. The public is asked to not swim in the area and to keep their dogs out of the water.

The township is also reminding residents to avoid dumping hazardous materials into storm drains because the materials will end up in the Gorge Waterway and have a negative impact on the water, shoreline and marine wildlife in the area.

Alexa HuffmanAlexa Huffman

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