Edmonton’s Mill Creek ranks dead last in water quality out of 10 urban Alberta creeks tested last year.
That’s according to CreekWatch, a project of the RiverWatch Institute of Alberta, which tested the creeks with the help of 68 volunteers and just released a report of their findings.
Edmonton’s Wedgewood, Blackmud and Whitemud creeks all fared better than Mill Creek.
|4. Oldman Creek||Strathcona County|
|6.Waskasoo Creek||Red Deer|
|8.West Nose Creek||Calgary|
|9. Nose Creek||Calgary|
|10. Mill Creek||Edmonton|
High levels of phosphorous, salt, pollutants
Mill Creek water samples showed high levels of phosphorus, salt, and other pollutants, while the amount of E. coli found was about average compared to the nine other creeks.
“All the creeks kind of work as a storm water conduit,” said Reed Froklage, a RiverWatch science coordinator. “We drain all our subdivisions into these areas. We want to make sure that they stay healthy and stay pretty because that water ends up into the next body of water which would be our big rivers.”
The City of Edmonton is aware of the issue, and a senior environmental engineer said the water in Mill Creek avoids the city’s drinking water supply as it feeds into the North Saskatchewan River.
“Mill Creek and the area around it was developed many many decades ago,” said Ross Bulat, senior environmental engineer with the city. “It’s built to a different standard than we’d expect today so we’re working to try to rectify some of those issues.
“In the early 2000s, an oil separator was put on part of the creek to take hydrocarbons out of the creek,” he added. “In the future, we will be…