Learn how you can support local rivers by participating in the annual Take the Dip event.

Every September in Surrey, residents sign up to Take the Dip and take action against water pollution in our creeks, streams and rivers by gathering information on the water quality in Surrey's waterways.

Surrey’s Take the Dip supports local and worldwide initiatives undertaking watershed protection awareness programs. The results of each Dip will help us pinpoint pollution concerns that can affect the habitats of local salmon, trout and other aquatic bugs and plants. The more Dips we get the better chance we have at taking action to support our healthy water habitats!

How to Take the Dip

To participate in Take the Dip, simply pick up a Take the Dip kit at a participating Surrey Library or recreation centre in September. Use our Take the Dip kit to collect a sample of water. Conduct five quick colour-changing instant tests, record your results, submit them, and you are done. This takes only 15 minutes. This is a fast and easy way to show your support for local rivers in one easy dip.

Where to Take the Dip

You can find a stream crossing near you on the City's COSMOS mapping system (Pick any ‘Map Type’ option and look for the light blue lines that have a creek name along them). You can also look for a salmon-bearing stream sign at a road crossing, but remember to dip safely from a bridge or road crossing.

Dip results

When you are finished with your Dip kits, we encourage you to mail in or drop them off as soon as possible so that your Take the Dip efforts can be included with the rest of the test results and make the most of the information collected.

Remember to drop the kits off to participating Surrey Facilities as they can be refilled and used again.

See past Take the Dip results and learn more about what these mean using our Understanding the Dip Results Guide.

Where the dip results go

Your dip will help protect little Coho salmon fry as well as many other aquatic species of salmon, trout, bugs and plants all over the City.

Once all the mail-back postcards are returned, a summary spreadsheet with results around the City will be created and the information will be forwarded to national and international organizations, such as Evergreen Canada, the World Water Monitoring Challenge and Freshwater Watch.

Water pollution

Even if the water in your sample looks clean, it may have small amounts of pollutants or chemicals in it that can affect how well salmon, trout, and other aquatic bugs and plants live in the stream or creek. Everything that makes its way through a storm drain on the street goes to a nearby stream or creek.

If you see a spill or pollution concern, call the Service Request Hotline at 604-591-4152 (24hrs).

Year-round Take the Dip projects

Action projects

Develop custom Take the Dip action projects for your class or group. Action projects have participants take part in activities that demonstrate social responsibility and shows them the power of observation and action. Each participant becomes a Stream Investigator and discovers what healthy water quality looks like with easy, colour-changing tests. Projects can range from a single water sample event to year-long stream habitat assessments with resource support from Surrey staff. Contact salmontracks@surrey.ca or 604-591-4383 to get started.

Action project ideas include group trips to a local stream to conduct the Dip together, or sending individual kits home with participants to complete the Dip as an assignment. Can't get the whole group to a stream location? Get creative and bring a small bucket sample of water to your group to test. Or you can challenge them with mystery 'water' samples, one from a stream and one from your tap, to see if they can guess which is which from the water quality.

Resources for classrooms

If you are looking for more resources to support your classroom activities, check out the World Water Monitoring Challenge website for free guides, lesson plans and worksheets. Surrey's Take the Dip kits are based off this Challenge and all your results get uploaded onto their map by the end of each year.

For more information about Take the Dip, email salmontracks@surrey.ca.