This photo was taken of the Gorge Waterway Sunday morning shows a substance polluting the waters. John Roe photo.

This photo was taken of the Gorge Waterway Sunday morning shows a substance polluting the waters. John Roe photo.

Substance in Gorge Waterway likely algae bloom

Investigation into the cause of Gorge Swim Fest’s cancellation is underway

Morgan Cross

Victoria News

Many believed Sunday that the Gorge Swim Fest was cancelled due to a sewage leak in the Gorge Waterway, but the Township of Esquimalt suggested Monday that a sewage line break is unlikely to blame.

No signs of failures or leaks can be found in the sewage system. The substance instead appears to be an algae bloom, though fecal coliform counts will also be taken from samples collected.

RELATED: Troubled waters at Swimfest

The public is asked to refrain from swimming and keep their pets out of the water in the Gorge Waterway area until further notice. Monitoring will continue as the water is tested. Testing is expected to be completed by the end of the week, at which time the township will develop a remediation plan.

The cancellation of the sixth annual Gorge Swim Fest this weekend serves as a reminder to the public that materials dumped into sanitary or storm water collection systems will inevitably find their way into bodies of water, such as the Gorge Waterway. Materials have a negative impact on the water, shoreline and marine wildlife.

The township is asking residents to dispose of materials responsibly.

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