Media Releases



The Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District has pled guilty to one charge under the Fisheries Act. The charge arose as the result of a discharge of untreated wastewater from the Chilco Pump Station through a combined sewer overflow and into Burrard Inlet at Brockton Point, in July of 2011. A partially blocked pump was determined to be the cause of the discharge. Staff later removed a large solid mass from the pump. At a hearing on March 12 in B.C. Provincial Court in Vancouver, the defendant and Crown counsel jointly proposed a fine of $5,000 and payment of $105,000 to the Environmental Damages Fund. The Fund supports environmental rehabilitation projects. The Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District has asked the Court to direct that the payment be designated for a project that benefits the Metro Vancouver region. Another court appearance for sentencing has been scheduled for April 4. The Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District, one of the four separate corporate entities known as Metro Vancouver, implemented changes to its operational procedures after the July 2011 incident to reduce the likelihood of a similar situation occurring again. Metro Vancouver encourages residents and businesses to keep garbage out of toilets. Only toilet paper and human waste should be flushed down the toilet. Our sewer system cannot handle a lot of materials that some of us flush down the toilet. When baby wipes, disposable mop cloths, feminine hygiene products and other items go down the toilet they can clump together and form a large, solid mass. This mass then blocks pipes and pumps, which can damage equipment and cause sewage to overflow into the environment and, ultimately, costs taxpayers money. In some cases, pipes at sewage pumping stations need to be manually unblocked two to three times every week to keep our system running. More information is available at on the wastewater collection and treatment pages. Learn about what residents can do. A brochure describes “What happens when I flush.”