Untreated wastewater can sometimes be discharged to waterways when sewers overflow due to heavy rainfall or other emergencies. Metro Vancouver provides real-time information about these overflows so that you can make informed decisions about your activities near the areas where these events occur.
Learn more about sewer overflows and what Metro Vancouver and municipalities are doing to prevent them.
The map shows overflows that have occurred in the last 48 hours, within the wastewater system operated by Metro Vancouver.
What Information Does the Map Include?
The map identifies two types of sewer overflows:
- sanitary sewer overflows into water bodies and on land (sanitary sewers collect anything that is flushed down a toilet or emptied down a drain in homes and businesses)
- treatment interruptions at wastewater treatment plants, where wastewater has been released before the treatment process has been fully completed (discharged wastewater may not fully meet regulatory requirements)
A future version of the map will include combined sewer overflows (combined sewers carry both sewage and stormwater in a single pipe).
How to Use the Map
This map shows two stages of overflows:
overflows in progress, where wastewater is being actively discharged
overflows that have occurred within the last 48 hours, where wastewater is no longer being discharged
The icons will change colour as the overflow status is updated. Overflows that happened over 48 hours ago are not shown on the map. Users can also add extra layers to the map, including municipal boundaries, sewers and other infrastructure.
Click on an icon to get specific details for an overflow.
Is It Safe to Use the Water During a Sewer Overflow?
In general, water quality in waterbodies in the Metro Vancouver region is very good. However, there is always some level of risk when using natural, untreated bodies of water for recreation and fishing, and drawing water for agricultural or industrial purposes.
Water quality in regional water bodies may not meet applicable environmental and/or human health protection guidelines for a period of up to 48 hours following a sewer overflow. Exposure to waters affected by sewer overflows should be avoided during this 48-hour period.
To find out if there is a concern with water quality at a particular beach or swimming area, check out:
Terms and Conditions
Exposure to wastewater may present risks to a person's health. Persons or entities using the data and information presented in Sewerage and Drainage Map (OverflowMap) do so at their own risk.
The data presented in OverflowMap has been collected on a near “real-time” basis by Metro Vancouver staff. Errors may occur due to a number of causes, such as instrument malfunctions or power outages. Therefore, the data and information is subject to change, without notice, pending the application of quality assurance and verification procedures.
Metro Vancouver Regional District, Greater Vancouver Water District and Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District (collectively, Metro Vancouver), and their directors, officers, employees and agents do not make any warranty regarding the data or information provided and shall not be held liable for any losses caused by reliance on the data or information. OverflowMap data is provided on an "AS IS" basis without warranty of any kind, whether express or implied, including without limitation, as to its quality, accuracy, suitability, reliability, usability, completeness, timeliness or applicability for particular purposes.
This data and information are protected under applicable copyright and other proprietary laws.
Your use of OverflowMap and its data and information constitutes your acceptance of these terms and conditions.