Metro Vancouver fined for Burrard Inlet sewage spill
The view of Burrard Inlet from the Barnet Marine Park. A sewage authority under Metro Vancouver was issued $110,000 in penalties for a 2011 spill at its pump station near Brockton Point, dumping water into the inlet. (CARMINE MARINELLI/ 24 HOURS)
Penalties of more than $100,000 have been issued to a Metro Vancouver sewage authority by Environment Canada for dumping untreated sewage into Burrard Inlet in 2011.
The Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District was handed $110,000 worth of penalties, $5,000 of it as a fine and $105,000 as a payment to the environmental damages fund.
In July 2011, more than 650,000 litres of untreated sewage was released into Burrard Inlet near Brockton Point.
Environment Canada says a plugged pump was the cause of the discharge.
The GVSDD had already pleaded guilty to the charges.
Metro Vancouver spokesman Bill Morrell said the spill was caused by malfunctioning equipment causing only part of the pump station operate, as well as a problem of people flushing items they shouldn’t down the toilet.
“Because it only partially turned on, it meant that backup systems didn’t kick in as they would have otherwise,” Morrell said. “The pump itself got blocked by a bunch of stuff that, frankly, shouldn’t have been in the system in the first place.”
He said modifications have been made to the operational system so crews can react more “aptly” to any future incidents.
Burrard Inlet is home to a variety of marine animals, including salmon heading to creeks to spawn.