Water tests show high E. coli levels in creek near Abbotsford mushroom farm

Worries that poor water quality could affect fish and wildlife in Bradner-area creeks.

Water in a small stream leading from Delfresh Mushrooms in Bradner is black

Water tests conducted by Bradner area residents on water downstream from a mushroom farm show E. coli and fecal coliform levels thousands of times worse than guidelines allow.

Drinking water should contain no E. coli, while beaches are closed in B.C. when levels surpass 200 E. coli per 100 mL. But a test conducted April 24 on a tributary of Brough/Bradner Creek near Delfresh Mushroom Plan – which has already been fined $500 by the city – found 100,000 coliforms per 100 mL. Total coliform levels, including fecal coliform, reached 240,000/100 mL. The sample and test, including two others on Brough/Bradner Creek was conducted by Langley Environmental Partners Society (LEPS), a local non-profit environmental organization, in conjunction with members of the Glen Valley Watersheds Society.

Downstream from the small tributary in Brough/Bradner Creek, E. coli was still plentiful, at 4,600/100mL. The fecal coliform level was 9,000/100 mL.

The results are not official, and the Ministry of Environment and federal fisheries ministry have also been investigating. The environment ministry hasn’t released results from tests on the water.

Lisa Dreves, the stewardship co-ordinator at LEPS, said fish are known to live in the creek and the coliform levels detected in the water could have a significant impact on wildlife and anything else that comes in contact with it.

Beyond being potentially harmful to drink, including for livestock and wildlife downstream, Dreves said the coliform counts could jeopardize the habitat of organisms and animals that live in the water.

“It means there’s a lot of nutrients getting into the stream and it could lead to algae blooms, which can then lead to a collapse of oxygen in the system, especially at night,” she said. “If we lose the oxygen then we could lose the bugs, we could lose the fish, we could lose any tadpoles … anything that’s relying on the water and the dissolved oxygen in the water.”

In order to see how the creek was affected by the run-off from the farm, LEPS also tested a section of Brough/Bradner above the tributary affected by the mushroom site. E.coli results there were significantly lower, at 500/200 mL, but still exceeding many water guidelines.

“500 is still too high,” she said. “The water quality in Brough Creek was already being affected by something else that’s upstream, probably due to fecal matter getting into the system.”

The City of Abbotsford fined Delfresh in early April after the first complaint surfaced about dirty water being discharged into a tributary flowing into the creek. Two weeks later, the city fined H.Q. Mushroom Farm, which is owned by the same person and located on the opposite side of 58th Avenue.

The owner, Huu Quach, told The News two weeks ago that the issue at Delfresh was fixed the next day and only a “very, very small amount” of effluent entered the creek. He said he was working with “environmental people” to assess how to repair the damage.

Just Posted

Milner actor taps into inner jokester for Langley Players comedy

The curtain goes up on The Foreigners next Thursday at the Langley Playhouse.

ON GARDENING IN LANGLEY: Ice storm caused damage to many trees

Advance columnist Pam Erikson suggestions tips for minimize winter damage and prepping for spring.

VIDEO: Double-decker bus pilot in Langley gets rave reviews

The ceiling is a little low, but other than that, everyone seems to be a fan

Township of Langley ranked No 1 ‘least tempting’ for millennials to live

Out of 85 cities, Township ranked lowest because of crime, affordability, says Point2homes.com

Trial begins for man charged with 2010 murder of Mandy Johnson

Langley single mom was fatally shot while in vehicle in Abbotsford

Solitary-confinement veto a chance to address mental health: advocate

B.C. Supreme Court made the landmark ruling Wednesday

Winter storm coming to B.C. this weekend

The bets are on as to how much snow the province will actually get in the coming days

B.C. civil rights group files complaint about RCMP arrest of man who later died

Dale Culver, a 35-year-old Indigenous man was arrested in Prince George last July

Lawyer says former B.C. government aide ‘barely guilty’ in ethnic vote scandal

Brian Bonney pleaded guilty to a breach of trust charge

Quite a few tears as homemade quilts distributed to residents of Ashcroft Reserve, Boston Flats affected by last summer’s fire

Quilters in B.C. and Alberta worked through the summer and fall to create more than 100 quilts.

Teachers’ union votes for non-confidence in school board

Lack of action after embattled trustee’s comments created unsafe workplace, Chilliwack teachers claim

Island Health: No need for alarm in wake of Victoria needle-prick incidents

Three incidents in a week prompts meeting between health authority, city service providers

B.C. coast loggers celebrate history, hope for improvement

Truck Loggers Association awaits B.C. NDP government’s new direction

Global Affairs aware of report of two Canadians kidnapped in Nigeria

The foreigners were heading south from Kafanchan to Abuja when they were ambushed around Kagarko

Most Read