A faulty pump is to blame for decreasing water levels at the pond in Crescent Park, which has left one area resident concerned for wildlife inhabiting the body of water.
David Nickerson told Peace Arch News Wednesday that he first noticed the pond’s water levels dropping a few weeks ago, and he called the City of Surrey to inform them of the issue. Since then, he has seen the water level continue to recede.
“The water level is so low that the mud along the shore is drying up,” he said. “I’m really concerned about the aquatic life in there.”
Surrey’s parks manager, Owen Croy, said Wednesday that the well’s pump was removed Monday for repair and should be reinstalled by the end of this week. Engineering crews were on-site Wednesday working on the pump and confirmed the work was expected to be completed by Friday.
Croy said the issue might be more than a faulty pump, noting that crews found indications that the well might be low on water.
“Part of the problem is the well appears to be running dry, which is causing the pump to shut itself off to keep from burning out,” Croy said.
“If that’s the case, we’ll have to be rethinking how we approach the situation of maintaining a pond at Crescent Park.”
Croy would not speculate as to what might be causing the well to run dry, noting that further investigation is required to determine whether that is, in fact, what is taking place.
Should crews determine that the well is running dry, he said alternatives include building another well, or bringing water in from the potable water system to possibly introduce to the pond, if it was suitable.
“We would prefer to have a well and draw from the water there as opposed to putting in chlorinated water,” he said.
When asked if the city was monitoring the pond’s wildlife in light of the decreasing water levels, Croy said that the animals inhabiting the area are mostly “introduced foreign species” and not currently in danger.
“For the most part, the species that are at the park are not at risk,” Croy said.
“There are other reservoirs for these species in terms of habitat areas.”
Nickerson, however, said he believes many frogs, turtles, ducks and fish are at risk, not only from the receding water, but from the easier shoreline access the low water levels have created.
He said he often sees dogs chasing after the ducks, ducklings and turtles taking refuge along the shore, despite city bylaws that restrict dogs to on-leash only in the park.
“There are dogs running rampant through here, harassing the ducks,” he said, pointing to two ducklings sunning themselves on a log.
“If the water keeps going down, the adults are going to fly away and these two are going to be left to die.”
Nickerson said that given the current state of the man-made pond, which he described as “a mess”, the city needs to step up its maintenance efforts.
“I could understand if this was a pond that was here due to Mother Nature, but Surrey put it here,” Nickerson said.
“The animals are in here because of the pond, why not maintain it so at least they can survive? It’s a no-brainer to me.”