Monday, August 24, 2020

What Ends up on a Street Makes Its Way into a Creek: Stormwater, Brydon Lagoon, and the Nicomekl River System

Recently, I’ve been reviewing some of the older reports that Langley City has commissioned. One of the reports is titled “Pond Management Strategies” which focuses on Brydon Lagoon, the pond by the Seniors Resource Centre, and the former ponds at Sendall Garden.

In 2012, this strategies report was commission because it was recognized that the ecological, recreational, and stormwater management functions of these ponds were significantly deteriorated. The report was completed in the spring of 2013. In the summer of 2014, around 500 to 1,000 fish died in Brydon Lagoon. The combined completion of the strategies report, fish kill, and resulting Brydon Lagoon task force ensured that action is continuing to this day to improve the water quality of the ponds in our community. You can read more detail about this history over a handful of previous posts that I wrote on the topic.

One of the things that most people know is that stormwater goes from our streets directly into ponds, creeks, and rivers. While people generally don’t dump oil, soap, pool water, or chemicals down storm sewer drains anymore, other waste can still make its way into our natural systems including residue from leaky vehicles, and garbage including cigarette butts.

The following two maps from the Pond Management Strategies report show how stormwater drains connect to local ponds and waterways.

Brydon Lagoon is a significant feature of our community. If you live in the Brydon area, most of the stormwater including residue and garbage can find its way into Brydon Lagoon or the Nicomekl River.

Storm sewer around Brydon Lagoon. Select image to enlarge.

The next map shows the area around the Seniors Resource Centre.

Storm sewer around Langley Seniors Resource Centre. Select image to enlarge.

Today, Langley City requires that new development projects include “Stormceptor” type systems which help reduce residue and garbage from entering our ponds and waterways. Many parts of our community do not have “Stormceptor” systems, and even were they do exist, they capture most but not all contaminants.

Reviewing this report reminded me of the importance of ensuring that only rainwater makes its way into stormwater drains in our community. Next time you see garbage or a rainbow-shine along the Nicomekl River system, remember that it could have come from any part of our community.

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