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News, Western Canada

Vancouver Provides Free Waste Removal to Improve Water Quality

Posted on August 17, 2017

The City of Vancouver and the Park Board have launched a free mobile pump-out service in False Creek to increase access to sewage disposal facilities and help improve water quality.

The free pilot service will come directly to boats in False Creek to empty their sewage tanks, making it easier for boaters to pump, not dump, their waste.

“False Creek is a fantastic public amenity with tremendous potential to be an urban oasis for boaters, kayakers, and other year-round recreational users,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “We all have a part to play in keeping False Creek clean and helping realize its potential. I encourage all boaters to take advantage of the City and Park Board’s free mobile pump-out service, and do their part in cleaning up False Creek.”

Ongoing work by the city, Park Board, and partners on water quality in False Creek has discovered that a primary contributor to E. coli contamination is untreated sewage waste from commercial and recreational vessels.

“Once again, this summer we’re reminding boaters, dog owners and beach goers to keep our beaches and waterways clean,” said Park Board chair, Michael Wiebe. “Alongside the mobile pump-out service, we’ve also increased hours and enhanced service at our pump-out stations at Heather and Burrard Civic marinas.”

The free mobile pump-out service is one of a number of immediate actions to make recreational waters like False Creek swimmable, and supports City Council’s Waterfront Initiative.

Additional initiatives include:

  • Diver investigations to identify sources of water pollution
  • A hydraulic model and water quality performance study to better understand how water flows in and out of False Creek and how pollution moves within and out of the basin
  • Updates to the Health bylaw to reinstate previous requirements related to water quality protection for the management of sewage and enhancing enforcement for illegal dumping

Boaters can arrange for free boat pump-out in three ways:

The City has contracted Skookum Yacht Services, a local company that has been doing boat repairs and maintenance at the Granville Island Boatyard for more than 10 years, to provide the pump-out service.

Further details, including reports and other water quality improvement projects in and around Vancouver and False Creek, are available online.

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