MPWS Water Quality Testing Update

Weekly testing for August/September 2013:

Testing on Aug 12 took place at the end of a brief heavy rain shower, the first real rain after several weeks of dry weather. The sites tested on Piercy creek showed high turbidity with the site on Marsden smelling strongly of cow manure and being very muddy. At the confluence, Piercy was much higher in volume than Millard and very muddy. Both Millard and the Rearing Channel were clear and showing little increase in volume.

August 19th showed regular turbidity all round, but Piercy temperatures were higher than the recommended 17C at several sites, notably Willemar Outfall and at Marsden which had temperatures of over 20C. Dissolved oxygen was low at these sites and at River Meadows. Millard temperature was a little above recommended at the confluence.

On August 26th the cooler weather with some rain had improved conditions. But Piercy at River Meadows still had low oxygen and Willemar outfall had a slightly high temperature. Piercy at Marsden had high turbidity probably as a result of the installation of the city watermain along that side of the street. The crew put down straw to reduce runoff. I checked this location the next day and it had settled down.

These sites were checked two days later after some heavy rain and found turbidity high at Marsden, Willemar and River meadows (Willemar twice as high as the other sites) yet Millard at Minto and Comox Logging road had little turbidity.

On September 3rd most sites were within acceptable parameters, except temp at Willemar was still a little high and turbidity at Marsden was high.

The last tests of the series on September 10th showed Piercy at River Meadows low in oxygen and Piercy at Willemar and Marsden had high temperatures.

Throughout all these tests Piercy was completely dry at Copperfield.

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