Sooke Lake Reservoir reaches max capacity at fastest rate in decades
The Sooke Lake Reservoir reached 100 per cent capacity on Monday, according to the Capital Regional District (CRD).
CRD spokesperson Andy Orr says it's the fastest the reservoir has filled up since it was raised to increase capacity in 2002.
Generally, the reservoir does not reach maximum capacity until late December or January. This year, however, historic rains have caused the reservoir to fill up fast.
Orr says that there are currently no water quality problems linked to the reservoir, as the island braces for as much as 200 millimetres of rain in some regions starting Monday evening.
According to the CRD, overflows can occur if heavy rainfall overloads the region's sewer system.
If an overflow occurs, pipes at emergency outfall locations in Oak Bay and East Saanich will open.
The CRD notes that it recently built infrastructure to increase capacity of the Sooke area's sewage system, "which will significantly reduce the frequency and duration of overflows during periods of heavy rain and should eliminate all unscreened overflows."
However, the regional district says that some municipalities will continue to see screened overflows, including pump stations in Oak Bay, until infrastructure upgrades in that region come online in 2030.
"The CRD will continue to work with core area municipalities under our liquid waste management plan to continue to reduce the duration and frequency of overflows as much as possible," said Orr on Monday.
As of Sunday afternoon, wastewater discharge notices remained active along two shorelines in Oak Bay and Saanich.
One notice is posted between Tarn Place in Oak Bay and Seaview Road in Saanich, and one is active between Radcliffe Lane and Trafalgar Park in Oak Bay.
Residents are advised not to enter the water along these shorelines as wastewater could pose a health risk.
A previous version of this story stated that the Sooke Lake Reservoir filled at its fastest rate since it was first installed. In fact, the CRD says it filled at the fastest rate since it was upgraded in 2002.