Improving water quality at Vancouver beaches on Monday’s park board agenda

Motion asks city to consider accelerating plans to stop untreated sewer outflow into waterways

With the list of local beaches closed due to high levels of E. coli growing, Vancouver Park Board will consider a motion Monday night that would ask city council to take steps to improve water quality along the city’s waterways.

The motion was brought forward by NPA commissioner John Coupar, who has been critical of the city’s sewage system, which frequently discharges untreated waste into the waterways through combined sewer overflow outlets, including False Creek. The City of Vancouver does currently have a timeline to replace the combined sewer system with a separated one, but it is based on the provincial government’s goal to have all the systems in the province replaced by 2050.

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If approved, Coupar’s motion would ask the city to accelerate that time line and set a goal of having a separated system and improved water quality within 10 years.

It would also ask the city to publicly identify the locations of all the sewer outflows into False Creek and other waterways in Vancouver that impact the city’s parks and beaches, and post signs to indicate the locations of the outflows.

In recent weeks, four beaches in the region have been closed to swimming and wading sue to water quality concerns, including Trout Lake and Sunset Beach, Ambleside Beach in West Vancouver and Snug Cove on Bowen Island.

Check out the latest beach water quality reports on Vancouver Coastal Health’s website, vch.ca.

@JessicaEKerr

jkerr@vancourier.com

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