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Reay Creek Pond

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Reay Creek was named for brothers William and Charles Reay, who settled on an acreage in the area in 1875.  The watershed for the creek extends across what is now Victoria Airport, to the Cresswell area of North Saanich, on the south slope of Mount Newton.  In the 1950’s a local farmer installed a dam on the creek to create Reay Creek Pond, and the pond was used for commercial duck production.  In the 1980’s the Town of Sidney obtained the land where Reay Creek Pond is situated, and created a dedicated park.

In 2013 the Town hired Thurber Engineering to perform a geotechnical investigation of the Reay Creek Dam. The investigation recommended that the dam be upgraded to meet current seismic design standards, and to be brought in compliance with the BC Dam Safety Guidelines.  The problem with performing remedial work on the dam became apparent when suspicions arose of contaminated sediments in the pond behind the dam.  In 2015 the Town hired environmental consultant SLR Consulting to collect and analyse samples of sediment from Reay Creek Pond.  The samples were taken on January 15, 2015 and the report was completed in May 2015.  Findings indicate high levels of some metals, including cadmium, zinc, chromium and lead.  This is consistent with other sampling work in the area by Peninsula Streams and the Capital Regional District.

The Town will be organizing a series of meeting with stakeholders (including Victoria Airport Authority, District of North Saanich, Peninsula Streams, local residents, Sidney Anglers, Canada Department of Fisheries & Oceans) to determine how best to clean up the pond area.

Reay Creek Technical Working Group Meetings
September 4, 2015
Minutes
Terms of Reference
May 11, 2016
Minutes

In early February 2016 flow monitoring equipment was installed on Reay Creek, generously funded by VAA, as discussed at the last Residents of Reay Creek meeting.  When the equipment is calibrated, it will provide useful data on the flow in the creek, which will be necessary to consider future design solutions.   

An issue that was discussed at the September 4, 2015 Technical Working Group meeting was the hiring of a Qualified Environmental Professional (QEP) to complete a review of all the reports done to date on Reay Creek.  This report is now complete and available here.  The report identifies data gaps that need to be filled in order to assess future remediation options for Reay Creek Pond.

On October 11, 2016, the Town received notification that Transport Canada had completed the classification of Reay Creek pond under the federal Aquatic Sites Classification System.  The site is classified as Class 1, which is “High Priority for Action”.  The site will now be incorporated in Transport Canada’s list of contaminated sites, which is a necessary prerequisite for Transport Canada to provide funding for cleanup or remediation.