Silt problem ruled out at Marina Bay

Marina Bay is not filling with silt dumped by a nearby creek as homeowners have complained, says a recently completed engineering study.

Marina Bay is not filling with silt dumped by a nearby creek as homeowners have complained, says a recently completed engineering study.

Residents in the development, which includes an inner lagoon with boat slips, have been raising concerns for years that silt was filling the lagoon, making it difficult for boat navigation.

The problem was believed to stem from Golf Course Creek, which empties into the small bay. The Marina Bay Homeowners Association is concerned that as new neighbourhoods have been developed, more runoff has gone into the creek, further aggravating siltation and water quality issues.

However, a Tagish Engineering study presented to town council on Tuesday shows that the composition of the dirt at the bottom of the bay is different than that of the lake and creek, which shows that no significant siltation from those sources has occurred.

“Overall, the tests conducted by Tagish Engineering on water and substrate samples from the Golf Course Creek and Marina Bay area, as well as the site evaluation and data analysis, show only a very small amount of siltation could be credited to the flow in Golf Course Creek,” says the study.

It appears that the bay may not have been excavated as deeply as was planned when it was developed in 1988, says the study.

A 2008 study of the creek was done but it was not extensive and further sampling was recommended.

In 2012, the homeowners association funded a study that proposed a conceptual restoration plan for the bay. That move prompted the town to commission the latest detailed investigation of creek and bay conditions.

Council accepted the study for information and has directed staff to arrange a meeting with the association to go over the results, which are “contrary” to the findings of the association’s last study, said town communications officer Joanne Gaudet on Wednesday.

Homeowners association president Ross Bandurk said the group has not seen the Tagish study yet and couldn’t comment. It will be reviewed up at an upcoming association meeting, he added.

The issue has been on the table since 2007, when a delegation from Marina Bay went to council to express concerns that water colour and clarity had deteriorated, the marina depth had dwindled to about four metres from nearly 10, average water temperature was rising and algae was flourishing.

The study says water quality could be improved in the creek and bay by building storm water management facilities, such as retention ponds or wetlands. It is also recommended an aeration system in the bay continue to be used to maintain water quality.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

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