What is a Drainage Master Plan?

    A Drainage Master Plan provides an analysis of a drainage system to identify level of services, deficiencies, priorities for potential upgrades, recommendations for long-term operations and maintenance of drainage infrastructure. The plan serves as an overarching guide for making decisions about an area's drainage network.  

    Why do we need a Drainage Master Plan?

    The Drainage Master Plan is being developed as part of an overall asset management program to understand system performance and develop solutions to address deficiencies. Planning will help the District prioritize upgrades as part of drainage infrastructure management. Planning will also help improve our drainage servicing while considering both present and future conditions based on anticipated climate change impacts.

    What area will the Drainage Master Plan focus on?

    The Drainage Master Plan area will span the whole District of North Saanich with its four major watercourses and watersheds: Tseycum (Wsikem) Creek, Ten-Ten Creek, Reay Creek, and Chalet (Tatlow) Creek. Please see the map below. 


    What is a watershed?

    A watershed is an area of land where all water that falls on the surface drains into the same watercourse such as a creek, river, or outfall. Watershed areas are used to define borders between watercourses to show where runoff eventually runs to.

    What is an IMSP?

    An Integrated Stormwater Management Plan (ISMP) is a study that helps understand the relationship between drainage servicing, land use, and the environment to better manage our stormwater and help improve water quality. 

    In the past, stormwater has been managed through the construction of pipes and channels to carry away rainfall as quickly as possible to protect our community from localized flooding, erosion, and pollution from agricultural or development activities.

    An ISMP is an updated approach that integrates our stormwater management infrastructure with understanding our land use, environment, and community to manage it in a more natural way. This means better planning over time to carefully invest in upgrades and improvements where they are needed most. An ISMP process also involves working with local stakeholders and interest groups to plan together for a sustainable future.

    Where is the Tseycum Creek watershed?

    The Tseycum Creek watershed is located in the western portion of the Saanich Peninsula. Tseycum Creek flows from the Sandown Facility to west through Tseycum First Nation land and discharges into Patricia Bay. The watershed experiences periodic flooding due to the low lying areas as part of the existing topographic conditions within its 402 hectare size.


    Why are we developing an ISMP for Tseycum Creek?

    The District is analyzing the Tseycum Creek and McDonald Park Road Drain watersheds to understand capacity, system deficiencies, and potential upgrade options to manage and maintain the drainage systems. The ISMP will outline best practices and recommendations for infrastructure improvements to better manage our rainfall, address water quality issues from stormwater runoff, and enhance the health of the watersheds.

    What is stormwater?

    Stormwater is surface runoff from rainfall that flows over land and impervious surfaces into our watercourses or drainage infrastructure like ditches and storm sewers. Stormwater needs to be managed by either draining it to the next watercourse, letting it soak into the ground, or storing it for release or usage.

    Seasonal rainfall can have an impact on both our water quality and water quantity.  As our climate changes, the risk for weather extremes rises. In winter, this means greater chances of winter storms bringing an increased risk of flooding and erosion. In summer, longer drought-period can impact our agricultural areas, wetlands, and sensitive habitats.

    What issues can an ISMP help address?

    An ISMP can help provide recommendations to:

    • Reduce flood risk and erosion
    • Reduce contamination / pollution of surface water and groundwater
    • Understand areas of concern for drainage issues and identify areas for improvement
    • Enhance our environment and natural habitat areas
    • Build capacity within the community to address issues over the long-term
    • Allow new developments within the watershed while protecting existing infrastructure and the environment

    How will the District be engaging?

    • We will be sharing a summary of the Drainage Master Plan with the community in the coming months. Opportunities for public comment will be provided online through the Connect North Saanich website. Stay tuned for more information.
    • As part of the Tseycum Creek ISMP process, we will be engaging with local stakeholders, local First Nations groups, and community members to understand current issues and identify opportunities in terms of drainage servicing, land use planning, environmental protection, and climate change adaptation. Input will be considered as we continue our technical analysis to develop an ISMP. A coordinated approach will help us plan, develop, operate, and maintain our drainage system in a way that is supported by the community.