VIHA Advises CRD that Beaches Are Safe for Public with Exception of Ross Bay

Jan 12, 2009

Victoria, BC – The Capital Regional District (CRD) has been advised by the Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) that public health signs warning of raw sewage contamination will be removed from all beaches on the Eastern shoreline of Greater Victoria with the exception of Ross Bay.

VIHA tests show that the beaches and waters are now safe for public access. Ongoing monitoring will continue at Ross Bay beach and signs will remain in place as long as the risk persists. “The CRD will continue to monitor storm water overflows,” said Larisa Hutcheson, Environmental Services Senior Manager of Operations and Local Services, “especially during periods of severe weather.”

Storm water overflows are caused by inflow and infiltration (I&I), which is rainwater and groundwater that enters the sanitary sewer. A certain amount of I&I is unavoidable and is accounted for in routine sewer design. However, when I&I exceeds normal amounts, during storm events, sewer capacity is overwhelmed and may result in overflows. The Eastern shoreline is especially prone to I&I because of older sewer infrastructure.

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For further information please contact:
Sheila Taylor, Manager, Community Relations
Corporate Communications, CRD
Tel: 250.360.3308