Boaters: a reminder to pump, don't dump, sewage to keep Vancouver waters clean

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      With the Celebration of Light gearing up for tonight (August 1) and Saturday (August 4), hordes of people will be lining shorelines around Vancouver, and out on the water in boats as well.

      Unfortunately, boat sewage is one of many contributing factors to fecal bacteria levels in local waters, particularly when hotter temperatures can accelerate the bacterial growth rate.

      Several Metro Vancouver beaches have been closed to swimming over the past week due to high levels of E. coli. Vancouver Coastal Health warned beachgoers not to swim or wade at Kitsilano Beach and Sunset Beach on July 28. Then three beaches in West Vancouver—Ambleside, Sandy Cove, and Whytecliff—were closed on July 31 to swimming, wading, and scuba diving also for high bacterial counts.

      While civic staff are working to determine the cause of the increased levels of E. coli, the City of Vancouver is reminding boaters to help protect water quality by not dumping sewage into waters.

      It's illegal to discharge untreated sewage into Vancouver waters.

      But the Vancouver Park Board provides free self-serve pump-out stations for pleasure craft at Burrard and Heather Civic Marinas. Both are open 24 hours a day.

      For those who need assitance, at Heather Marina, staff are available from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily until September 3 while at Burrard Marina, staff are available from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily until September 3.

      Mobile pump-outs can be booked from Thursdays to Mondays from 1 to 5 p.m. until September by calling or texting 778-683-7867, emailing, or flagging down a mobile pump-boat out on False Creek.

      More sewage pump-out locations in False Creek and Coal Habour can be found at the city's website. Details about Vancouver's marinas and amenities can be found at the city's website as well.