Investigation of the Presence of Heavy Metals and Compounds in Salish Creek: Potential Contaminants and Impacts

  • Steven Dang
  • Gurvir Dhutt
  • Fred Hui
  • Connor MacCuspie


With recent declines in wild salmon stock across British Columbia (Noakes et al., 2000), it is imperative for spawning locations to be as conducive to salmon health as possible. With the recent restoration efforts to the mouth of Salish Creek, our team investigated potential contamination of the stream water to ensure that spawning salmon will have the best chance of survival. Ten different abiotic factors were considered: soil pH, alkalinity, chlorine, iron, nitrites, nitrates, water pH, total water hardness, copper and lead. Measurements were conducted at three different sites along Salish creek: the source of the creek, the head of the creek, and the rehabilitated mouth of the creek. Measurement of the abiotic factors was done according to the 9 in 1 test kit with the exception of soil pH, which was measured according to the Streamkeepers’ Handbook. Overall, total water hardness and soil pH were found to be significantly different between the sites (p-value = 0.00702 and 0.0281 respectively). In addition, only nitrate was found to have a significant correlation with soil pH (p-value = 0.00594). Considering the results of this investigation, we believe that there are no potential toxic compounds that may interfere with salmon health present in the waters at Salish Creek.