The 2015 CreekWatch Report is the first detailed study of Alberta urban creek water and shows some waterways are better than others.

About two dozen volunteers helped the RiverWatch Institute gather weekly data in four Calgary and three Edmonton creeks. The CreekWatch survey was done between March and October of 2015.

Of the creeks monitored, Fish Creek has the best water quality in the province, while Nose Creek has the worst. The state of the creeks says a lot about how we treat our environment.

“These creeks are part of Calgary’s dirty little secret,” said Cal Kullman, RiverWatch Institute of Alberta. “They receive our wash water every time there is a storm or every time there is a spring snow melt, and off the streets and surfaces comes everything, sand, grit, oil, gasoline, dog feces, everything contributes.”

Researchers are building a database to get a better understanding of how humans impact aquatic environments, and they are getting a lot of help.

“A 20 year history of working with school groups doing environmental monitoring, and a new citizen’s science program with help from the HSBC water program looking at monitoring urban storm water creeks,” said Kullman.

The RiverWatch Institute is hoping more people will get involved in monitoring creeks. You can see the full 2015 Creekwatch report and get information on volunteering here.