Today I had the privilege to go out on Sheila and John’s weekly e-coli testing on the Brewery Creek that surrounds the Island of Hull.
Les Amis History
Sheila and John live near Brewery Creek and walk their dog along its banks. Three years ago, they grew distressed over the amount of garbage in the waterway, and joined up with the local brewery pub to clean it up. Together they formed Les Amis du Ruisseau de la Brasserie (Friends of Brewery Creek). Since then, they have began working with the Ottawa Riverkeepers to perform water testing, and a local botanist to help plant a diverse selection of native species. One important test they perform weekly is for ecoli at 4 locations along the creek. Because it contains 2 main sewer overflows, ecoli levels are much higher than they should be. They collect samples and get it processed by a laboratory every wednesday. At 2 points they test, readings have gone above 4000 (200 is safe for swimming and 400 is safe for water leisure activities, so this is very distressing!) while other areas near the mouth of the Ottawa river are clean enough to swim in.
They continue to perform these tests, following testing protocols closely in the hopes that government officials will deal with this hazardous situation with sewer overflows.
It was a sweltering 33 degrees today (not including the humidity), but I had such a pleasant, information-rich adventure with these two passionate RiverWatchers. I can’t wait to work with them again!