Media Availability – CRD Project Update on Elk Lake Oxygenator System

Aug 15, 2023

Saanich, BC – Capital Regional District (CRD) Board Chair Colin Plant invites media to attend an informal media availability near Hamsterly Beach at Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park to learn more about the progress on the Elk Lake Oxygenator System Capital Project. Media are invited to ask questions about the system and see the system being tested. Please see the backgrounder below for additional project information. Pre-recorded drone footage is available to members of the media.

When: Wednesday, August 16 at 12:30 p.m.

Where: New Elk Lake Oxygenator System Building – at the terminus of Hamsterly Road at Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park near the north segment of the Elk Lake 10K Trail. Parking will be available lakefront, directly across from 5401 Hamsterly Road.


  • Saanich South MLA and Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport Lana Popham
  • CRD Board Chair Colin Plant
  • CRD Regional Parks Committee Chair Cliff McNeil-Smith
  • Paul Gantzer, Ph.D, Gantzer Water Resources Engineering (subject matter expert)


The CRD delivers regional, sub-regional and local services to 13 municipalities and three electoral areas on southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Governed by a 24-member Board of Directors, the CRD works collaboratively with First Nations and government partners to enable sustainable growth, foster community well-being, and develop cost-effective infrastructure while continuing to provide core services to residents throughout the region. Visit us online at


For inquiries, please contact:
Devon Smith, Communications Coordinator
CRD Regional Parks
Tel: 250-889-8030



August 15 2023

Elk/Beaver Lake Initiative & Elk Lake Oxygenator System Capital Project

Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park is one of the region’s most popular recreation areas, and the lakes are used and appreciated year-round by a variety of recreational users.

Over the years, studies have shown that water quality in both Elk and Beaver Lakes is deteriorating. High nutrient levels have contributed to algae blooms, low dissolved oxygen levels, and decreasing water clarity. Many levels of government are involved in the lake and are working collaboratively to address the water quality issues.

As of 2023, two plans are currently underway to address high nutrient levels in Elk/Beaver Lake:

These plans aim to improve water quality and reduce the frequency of blue-green algae blooms.

As part of the In-Lake Remediation Plan, an oxygen-generation (oxygenator) system is being put in place. It is anticipated this system will help address the high level of nutrients in the water that lead to blue-green algae blooms. In 2021, the Province of BC contributed $750,000 to help buy the oxygenation system, and the CRD will be responsible for the system and ongoing maintenance costs.

The factors impacting freshwater quality are complex, and it is expected that the first 12-18 months after the oxygenator system is up and running may result in either an improvement or decrease in water quality. It’s also possible vegetation and blue green algae within the lake may increase during the initial operating period of the oxygenator system as more oxygen is introduced to the lake.

Both Elk/Beaver Lake and the entire watershed area are complex, multi-jurisdictional areas, which include regional park land, provincial jurisdiction, Transport Canada jurisdiction, District of Saanich land, and private property. The oxygenator system is only one component of the multi pronged approach to water quality in the Elk/Beaver Lake watershed.

Ongoing monitoring of water quality is planned related to the oxygenator system, and the CRD is committed to continuing to work with all partners and stakeholders collaboratively to address the water quality issues at Elk/Beaver Lake.

The Elk Lake Oxygenator System project broke ground in April 2023 and is anticipated to be complete in the fall of 2023, with system testing and calibration continuing through 2024.



"People in Saanich South and across B.C. come to Elk Lake to enjoy the outdoors, participate in sporting events, go fishing, spend time with family, and see what makes the park so special. Our government is so proud to have supported the oxygenator that will ensure people have access to safe, clean water for all these activities and more at Elk Lake for years to come."

-       Lana Popham, MLA for Saanich South


“The Elk Lake Oxygenator System is part of the in-lake remediation plan to address overall water quality and tackle specific concerns such as blue-green algae blooms. We are grateful for Provincial funding which played a pivotal role in acquiring this system.”

-       Colin Plant, CRD Board Chair


Related links:

Elk Lake Oxygenator System Capital Project Page

Elk/Beaver Lake Initiative Page