Ornella and Edward




Dye in manhole




Che and Ben go door-to-door

The Veins of Life Watershed Society's main objective in the Cecelia Creek catchment area is to identify the sources of contamination polluting Cecelia Creek, its estuary and the Selkirk Waterway. The VOLWS Victoria Team is currently dye testing in the area to determine the extent to which cross-connections between sewage systems and storm drains are contributing to the problem. The procedure involves flushing a non-toxic dye tablet down the toilets of the residential homes and businesses in the catchment area and monitoring the manholes to determine whether the proper connections are in place. Team members also ascertain whether or not laundry facilities are connected properly. Any improper connections are recorded and measures are taken to ensure that the problem is rectified.

Another source of contamination in the Cecelia Creek catchment area includes non-point source pollution such as contaminant run-off from roads and other impermeable surfaces. Oils, gas, and other toxic fluids are washed into the storm drains each time it rains. Another problem includes people who dump waste and refuse directly into storm drains, unaware that they are polluting our waterways. Every time we spill a can of paint, overfill our gas tanks, or wash our car in the driveway we are contributing to the degradation of our environment.

Unlike the problems of cross-connections that can be addressed immediately, these issues require a less-direct approach in order to be rectified. It is a mandate of the Victoria Team to raise awareness of the problems in the catchment area and to provide the public with alternatives and education that will contribute to a healthier environment. We suggest simple solutions such as using environmentally friendly cleaners, disposing of toxic refuse at a recycling facility, or washing your vehicle on the lawn instead of the driveway. As John Roe says, "It took a community to destroy the creek and it takes a community to rebuild it". Through the direct action of dye testing and by raising awareness in the community, the Victoria Team hopes to assist the community in restoring the integrity of Cecelia Creek.



Shane at manhole, Che - traffic control. Pricsilla - Dye tester