Thursday, 18 October 2012

From a Volunteer Pipewatcher

On October 11th I set off for the first time into Valley Park with my PipeWatcher Resident Handbook, which helpfully outlines how to identify problem outfalls and gives a map of the discharge points in Valley Park.  I was ready to see if there were any flows, smells or materials coming from any of the pipes.  There had only been 2.2mm of rain within the few days before the 11th, so I knew that there shouldn’t be any water, let alone sewage, coming out of the pipes (all of the discharges in Valley Park are storm sewer outfalls).

I started out with one of the concerning outfalls: DCT 32, at 10:20am.  There was only a slight odor- I don’t know how much stronger it would be if there wasn’t a significant wind and my nostrils were clear.  There was steady low flow coming from the pipe as well, which spread out into an algae-covered surface before going into the creek.  There was also some debris caught in the pipe grate and in the surrounding area.

Pipes DCT 31 – DCT 25 were fairly non-concerning, providing I could find them or see them well enough.  There was a bit of debris in the grate for DCT 27, but I couldn’t tell if it was materials that would have been flushed down the toilet.

It was somewhat difficult to locate pipes DCT 24 – DCT 21; I believe I found 22 and 24.  DCT 24 had a very slight odor, debris (mainly garbage) surrounding pipe, and a steady low flow of water.  The other only had a slight trickle of water, and there was a small amount of debris around the pipe.

Submitted by: Kirsten Gellein 

Monday, 15 October 2012

October Workshops Recap

With a focus on both the Rosedale and McQuesten area, October's workshops provided residents with another opportunity to learn about the outfalls in their area, specifically RHC-27 and RHC-16. 

While both outfalls have several differences, which include location, appearance, and type (RHC-27 is a combined sewer outfall while RHC-16 is a storm outfall), they both unfortunately shared one common characteristic... green algae, and lots of it. 

The picture below is of RHC-27, located in Rosedale Park beside the Bocce Ball facility. While this picture was taken back in July (it was too dark the night of the workshop to get a good shot), it depicts the same sight that was seen on October 10th. 

This picture is of RHC-16 and was taken Oct 9, 2012 by one of our volunteers. While this outfall raised initial concern due to the extensive garbage buildup in its grate (see previous post), this newly found mass pool of algae raised some eyebrows. 

In addition to noticing these pools of green, workshop participants also noted the following: 

RHC-27 : Pipe was flowing, with minimal smell, and minimal sanitary debris. 
RHC- 16 : Pipe was not flowing, had no smell, and had no sanitary debris. 

"Ah, there's nothing like rising with the sun to take a peaceful dip in your own pool." 
{Dives In} "Lisa! The blob has got me! Don't touch me or he'll get you too!" 

Tuesday, 2 October 2012


A second mini-round of workshops has been announced! Click the poster for a closer look. All are welcome to attend.