Rainwater can wash contaminants from our land and impervious surfaces (i.e. roads, parking lots and roof tops) into stormwater pipes and ditches where they are discharged to creeks and marine shorelines. CRD staff monitor levels of contamination in storm drain pipes, creeks, harbours and the nearshore marine environment at over 500 locations. These discharge points are then prioritized for our local government partners and other jurisdictions depending on the level of public health and environmental concern. The data is summarized in annual reports and used by our municipal partners, other jurisdictions and the community to identify sources of contamination and direct clean-up efforts, infrastructure upgrades and restoration activities.
Stormwater monitoring is conducted within the Integrated Watershed Management Program as a service for all municipalities (except Highlands and Metchosin), six First Nations and three electoral areas under three liquid waste management plans and eight bylaws each covering a different area:
- Bylaw 2567 - Core Area (Colwood, Esquimalt, Langford, Saanich, Oak Bay, Victoria, View Royal)
- Bylaw 3642 - Saanich Peninsula (Central Saanich, North Saanich, Sidney)
- Bylaw 2453 - District of Sooke
- Bylaw 2451 - Juan de Fuca Electoral Area
- Bylaw 2454 - Salt Spring Island Electoral Area
- Bylaw 2452 - Southern Gulf Islands Electoral Area
- Bylaw 3743 - Victoria and Esquimalt Harbours, Esquimalt Lagoon, Gorge Waterway and Portage Inlet
- Bylaw 3837 - Harbours Environmental Action Service Establishment Bylaw (amendment of Bylaw 3743)
Three bylaws that enable the service are derived from liquid waste management plans (in the Core Area, Saanich Peninsula and Sooke) and the minimum requirements for those services are defined in the plans.
The program works to bring municipalities, First Nations and electoral areas together to work collaboratively on watershed protection. Watersheds and the receiving environments have natural boundaries and as such, often involve multiple jurisdictions. In addition, the issues and concerns in one watershed are often the same as those in other watersheds in the region so when multiple jurisdictions work together they can share ideas and solutions and learn from each other.
The IWMP reports to the CRD Environmental Services Committee, Saanich Peninsula Wastewater Commission, District of Sooke Council and the Electoral Area Directors. The program also interacts with municipal staff, First Nations and the public through working groups, area-based initiatives and special projects.
The Integrated Watershed Management Program’s budget is provided through annual CRD tax requisition.