Introducing our brand new Community Water Lab!

There has been lots of interest from our partners in further testing water health in the CRD, particularly those with high importance to local communities.

So we’ve been busy creating a citizen-science laboratory, in collaboration with Dr. Asit Mazumder of UVic, designed to provide informative research about water health in the area, and to be used as a tool to engage youth in citizen science monitoring.

We’ll be posting regular updates here as we begin monitoring water quality in the CRD. Some parameters of water health that we will be testing include E. coli, chlorophyll, dissolved oxygen, salinity, temperature and turbidity!

In the Community Water Lab, this vacuum filtration system helps us find out how much bacteria is in our waterways

Update: Yesterday (Feb. 3, 2020), Hayley, Nilou and I (John) collected some more water samples. Still lots of bacteria in Bowker Creek, but almost none in a sample from the Oak Bay Marina, which is very close to the Bowker Creek ‘estuary’. We used our YSI Sonde in the field for the first time:  Yesterday was cold (air temp. about 2C).  Sea water was 7C at the surface and 8C a few meters down. Interesting.  We are sorting out other measurements… dissolved O2 was very high in the ocean, lower in Bowker Creek and much lower in UVic tap water (from a tap that hadn’t been opened in weeks).  Some calibration might be needed.

Here are some of the educational lab procedures that we use in the field, and why community water monitoring is so important for both people and wildlife:

Chlorophyll Lab Procedures:

LivingLab_Chlorophyll_Protocol 18 Dec 2019


E. coli / Coliform Bacteria Lab Procedures

LivingLab_WaterQuality_Protocol 18 Dec 2019


Conductivity Lab Procedure:



Dissolved Oxygen Lab Procedure: