• Reay Creek Enhancement

  • Victoria, BC

Victoria Airport Authority retained KWL to undertake the Reay Creek Enhancement Project.  The objectives were to improve stormwater management at the airport’s East Industrial Area and protect Reay Creek and adjacent habitat.  KWL was retained to provide preliminary design, regulatory approvals, detailed design and construction services with input from a multidisciplinary design team, including environmental/contamination specialists, riparian and aquatic habitat biologists, and landscape architects.  The KWL team also worked together with regulators, local stewardship groups, First Nations and other local stakeholders to address concerns and incorporate their ideas into the design.

The primary goals of the project were to:

  • Reduce heavy metal and other pollutant concentrations in stormwater runoff from the East Industrial Area and the eastern half of the airport property
  • Incorporate fish and riparian habitat features for potential fish habitat restoration in Upper Reay Creek
  • Improve water quality while limiting bird and wildlife conflicts with airport operations, and
  • Provide for emergency storage to limit the impact of contaminant spills or other emergent events.

The project consists of a new 200-metre-long diversion channel that incorporates aquatic habitat features such as riffles, rocks, and riparian planting to provide favourable habitat for aquatic species such as invertebrates, amphibians and fish.  The new channel diverts stormwater drainage around the existing contaminated creek channel, which has been converted into a bio-remediation wetland to treat drainage from the East Industrial area.  The wetland has been planted with species that filter out stormwater pollutants thus improving water quality.  In addition, water control gates have been installed at the wetland’s outlet, as a protective measure, to capture any unforeseen contaminant spills should they occur. 

An ongoing monitoring program has been established to measure the effectiveness of the remediation project.  Adaptive management strategies will be implemented to improve the effectiveness of the remediation project as required.