BC Clean Ocean Initiative


Sediment quality conditions at Macaulay Point and Clover Point are sufficient to warrant designation as contaminated sites, as defined by the Contaminated Sites Regulation. The area of contamination is both within the initial dilution zone (IDZ; which is the area within 100 m of the diffuser) and outside the IDZ at the Macaulay Outfall.[1]

Nineteen chemicals were found in the sediment located nearby the Clover Point and Macaulay Point outfalls at concentrations that exceeded the Contaminated Sites Regulation standards. These chemicals include metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).1

Chemicals in the Sediment at Clover Point and Macaulay Point

Exceeding Contaminated Site Regulations 1

1. Cadmium 8. Acenaphthylene 15. Chrysene
2. Copper 9. Anthracene 16. Dibenz(a,h)anthracene
3. Lead 10. Fluorene 17. Fluoranthene
4. Mercury 11. Naphthalene 18. Pyrene
5. Zinc 12. Phenanthrene 19. Total PAHs
6. 2-Methylnaphthalene 13. Benz(a)anthracene
7. Acenaphthene 14. Benzo(a)pyrene

PAH = polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

“Benthic community data for the immediate area of discharge at Macaulay Point has shown impact related to sewage discharge (CH2M Hill et al. 1991 and Ellis and Alvarez 1991)”[2]

“At Macaulay Point, community diversity is reduced and pollution-tolerant invertebrates dominate the sediment-dwelling organisms.”[3]


Twenty-eight chemicals found in Victoria’s sewage have been measured at levels that exceed Canadian or provincial water quality guidelines (WQGs) for the protection of fish and aquatic life. As the concentrations of these chemicals exceeded the WQGs by up to factors of nearly 85, it is likely that aquatic organisms exposed to these effluents would be adversely affected.[4]

Chemicals in Victoria’s Effluent that Exceed Water Quality Guidelines for the Protection of Fish and Aquatic Life 4

1. Sulfide (total) 11. Iron 21. BEHP
2. Sulfate 12. Lead 22. Anthracene
3. Fluoride (dissolved) 13. Mercury 23. Benz(a)anthracene
4. Nitrogen (ammonia) 14. Silver 24. Benzo(a)pyrene
5. Cyanide (WAD) 15. Thallium 25. Fluoranthene
6. Cyanide (total) 16. Zinc 26. Pyrene
7. Barium 17. Chloroform 27. Lindane
8. Cadmium 18. 2,4-Dichlorophenol 28. Endosulfan Sulphate
9. Chromium VI 19. Pentachlorophenol
10. Copper 20. Phenol

WAD = weak acid dissociable; BEHP = bis-2-ethyhexyl phthalate.

[1]MacDonald DD, Smorong, DE. MacDonald Environmental Sciences Ltd. An Evaluation of Sediment Quality Conditions in the Vicinity of the Macaulay Point and Clover Point Outfalls, 2006. pg. 39 & tables 17-20

[2] Colidey A, Salmon R, Lim P. Environment Canada. Environmental monitoring near the Macaulay Point and Clover Point marine sewage outfalls at Victoria, British Columbia in 1989 and 1990, 1992 pg. 1&14

[3] Stubblefield, W.A., et al. 2006. SETAC. Scientific and Technical Review, Capital Regional District Core Area Liquid Waste Management Plan, pg.13

[4] Golder. Potential environmental effects of the Macaulay and Clover Point outfalls and review of the wastewater and marine environmental program, 2005