Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Heavy rainfall sends raw sewage into B.C. waterways

Lisa Johnson of the CBC reported on the Friday edition of Vancouver at Six and now the story is on line. I have dealt with the issue of partially treated sewage here before – but the recent heavy rains and melting snow overloaded Vancouver’s antiquated combined system. Most places now have separate storm and foul water drainage systems. We don’t.  However it is recognised to be a problem. Just not one that is being dealt with any sense of urgency.

the pipes are slowly being separated and overall the sewage system is improving, but work won’t be completed until 2050

“That’s a ridiculously long timeline,” [Georgia Straight Alliance spokeswoman Christianne Wilhelmson] said. “I realize there’s challenges with digging up streets and replacing pipes, but this has got to be a greater priority for the region because everyone can see right now the impact that it’s having.”

Now in case you think this is just about polar swimmers paddling in poo, the stuff that is being dumped is going into what was once a major salmon habitat. And the stuff that we flush is loaded with pharmaceuticals which we excrete and then go into the food chain. Along with all the heavy metals and what not that goes down the drains in the street. So I am not just talking about the need for better sewage treatment but also some treatment for storm run off.

At least the CBC story is attracting comments – 38 so far. Please add your comments there and not here. I have added nothing to this story I am simply passing the link along

Written by Stephen Rees

January 11, 2009 at 2:40 pm

Posted in Environment, sewage

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