Editor’s note: The following is a republication of an article originally published Sept. 29, 2021.
On Sept. 3, Town of Comox staff discovered a sanitary leak near the Hillside and Highland intersection. During that time the leak infiltrated into Brooklyn Creek through a crack in the storm system. Town staff immediately mobilized and closed the leak after discovery. Through the response to this incident the Town has worked closely with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, and Current Environmental, an independent third party environmental firm. After discovery, at the direction of the Current Environmental, the Town removed the contaminated water and soil from the creek and tested the area and water downstream. No health risks to the public were identified and council was not made aware of the issue though a number of residents in the area were informed of the work taking place.
Over the following weeks the town completed repairs on the damaged infrastructure and has continued to have water sampling and testing completed all indicating no further risk to the public, salmon, or the environment. All testing and works have been through the guidance of Current Environmental and to the satisfaction of the federal and provincial agencies involved. This testing will continue to ensure that no further infiltration takes place and that public and environmental health are not at risk.
The town has placed replacement of its aging storm and sanitary infrastructure as a major part of its asset management plan moving forward. The town’s current financial plan anticipates that more than $9 million will be allocated to the upgrades of these systems over the next five years.
The treasure and importance of the Brooklyn Creek Watershed is highlighted by more than a decade of pioneering work the town has undergone to adopt an ecological accounting process in partnership with the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC. The Brooklyn Creek Channel Enhancement, Middle Creek Urban Design Concept Plan, and other sustainability focused work resulted in receiving a certificate as a ‘Champion Supporter” from the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC.
This industry leading work is further expanded as the town takes a leading role in the Comox Valley on stormwater management introducing state of the art storm water management practices in northeast Comox. This includes groundwater recharge, pre and post development flow equalization, and continuous storm water flow monitoring and will serve as a template for development in the Anderton Corridor.
For more information of the continuing work and stewardship of the Brooklyn Creek Watershed and Comox’s industry leading storm water management practices read “Town of Comox – A ‘Beacon of Hope for Citizen Science in Action & Reconnection Hydrology and Ecology through the Water Balance Approach to Land Development” at bit.ly/3kJmxBR