Saanich, Central Saanich officials meet to discuss water flow issues

Municipalities share responsibility for drainage out of the Martindale Valley.

The Districts of Saanich and Central Saanich have met to talk about how they each handle water flows in the Martindale Valley. Water drains from Central Saanich into Noble Creek on the Saanich side of the border.

The District of Saanich and Central Saanich are on the same page when it comes to drainage issues in Martindale Valley.

The two councils met for a joint meeting last month to discuss drainage issues along the creek that runs through both municipalities.

They also heard from Terry Michell and other farmers in the area about crop losses due to drainage and other areas of concern.

“So we resolved to work together to address those things as it’s a continuous water body that we both share,” said Saanich Mayor Richard Atwell.

Although not at the solution stage yet, Saanich and Central Saanich agreed that they will be reviewing the reach of Noble Creek, which is what it’s called on the Saanich side after it crosses over the border between the two municipalities.

“So we’re going to do an assessment to the (area where one creek reaches the other) and also survey it to see if there are any drainage improvements that can be made as part of our 2017 work plan,” said Harley Machielse, director of engineering for Saanich.

Central Saanich Mayor Ryan Windsor said the discussion really revolved around taking a look for debris and flows.

Where Saanich looks at the drainage issue in a creek capacity, Central Saanich looks at it as a ditch, so there’s a difference, Windsor said.

The issue will come back to Central Saanich council to determine what they want to do about the designation and how they want to treat the whole watershed.

Currently without an engineer, Central Saanich will need to wait for when engineering staff are in place to make further recommendations on the situation.

“I think obviously looking for easy stuff like debris or blockages are one thing, but also making the system work more efficiently,” said Windsor.

He said if the municipality were to re-designate what they call a ditch to a creek, that would change how the District maintains the waterway.

Windsor said there may be an upland water retention area, which is a possibility that has been discussed by Central Saanich council.