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Amongst other action, City renews boat sewage pump-out program for 2018 to improve water quality in False Creek

February 22 2018

Boater driving his motorboat across False Creek

The City, in collaboration with the Vancouver Park Board, continues to advance programs and initiatives to improve water quality in False Creek.

Today the City approved extension of the mobile sewage pump-out program in False Creek for the 2018 boating season and approved measures of enhanced enforcement. 

Supporting responsible disposal and increasing enforcement

Measures adopted today to address improper sewage disposal and strengthen water quality protection, include:

  • Continued support for responsible sewage management: 
    • Extension of the mobile sewage pump-out pilot service in False Creek for the 2018 boating season
    • Bylaw amendments to require marinas to provide pump-out facilities by January 1, 2019
  • Increasing enforcement capacity: 
    • Broaden the prohibition of discharges from boats beyond the oil, sewage and waste to encompass any substance that could impair the environment
    • Providing additional enforcement tools by empowering the City to be able to issue tickets for specific bylaw offences pertaining to water quality protection (i.e., lack of signage prohibiting illegal waste discharge and provision of an operational pump-out facility by January 1, 2019 at marinas)

Recommendations on improving water quality

These measures are in addition to other action that has been advanced since City Council adopted a suite of recommendations to take action on improving water quality in False Creek in 2017, including: 

  • Making amendments to the Health Bylaw to reinstate previous requirements related to water quality protection
  • Conducting underwater visual inspections using dive surveys at all major marinas in False Creek
  • Engaging with Vancouver marinas to seek input on transition timelines to support meeting new requirements to have a pump-out facility as well as input on other suggestions for improving water quality
  • Providing stationary pump-out facilities at both civic marinas in False Creek
  • Launching the pilot mobile pump-out service which ran from August 11 to October 14, 2017
  • Delivering the “Pump Don’t Dump” public education campaigns
  • Continuing sewer separation, remedying cross-connections and launching the City’s Green Infrastructure program

Improving the water quality of the Vancouver’s surrounding water bodies has been an ongoing project for decades and has seen significant improvements since False Creek was an industrial centre.

Both in False Creek and in other water surrounding Vancouver, considerable progress has been made to clean up water following Vancouver’s industrial past and old style sewer systems, and the City and Park Board are committed to continued improvement.