Capital Regional District employees

Capital Regional District employees

Possible lead contamination linked to bullet shells

Phase 1 of the Thetis Lake Remediation Project began last week and monitoring wells were dug Aug. 8.

Digging monitoring wells and testing the soil at a former pistol range at Thetis Lake Regional Park will determine how to remediate the land.

Phase 1 of the Thetis Lake Remediation Project began last week and monitoring wells were dug Aug. 8.

“This first phase will determine the level of contamination and how much soil we need to remove,” said Kristi Wilson, CRD environmental science officer.

The level of contamination should be determined by September and by the end of October the remediation process is expected to be complete.

The majority of the contamination is within the berm of soil where the bullets were shot into during practices. The berm is five meters high and 18 metres long. The site was used by several Greater Victoria police departments.

Wilson explained the contamination is most likely due to lead shell casings.

The berm will be dismantled and in the meantime it’s covered with a tarp to prevent rain from hitting the soil and spreading the contaminants.

CRD expects to have a report with recommendations to be complete by the end of December.

Once the level of contamination is determined CRD will decided what to do with the land once remediation is complete. Most likely the land will be used as parkland and possible reforested.

“This is a native Douglas fir forest,” said Jeff Ward, manager of planning resource management and development regional parks. “We are not looking ton building a recreation centre here, but maybe adding some trails.

The pistol range, along Highland Road in View Royal was used from the 1960s up until the land was passed over to the Capital Regional District parks department in 1994.

The entire remediation process is expected to cost $750,000. CRD has been budgeting for the work and has also received a grant from the B.C. government for $177,000.

charla@goldstreamgazette.com