Poo fighting in False Creek: City of Vancouver extends free sewage pump-out for boaters

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      The City of Vancouver is extending its free mobile sewage pump-out service for boaters in False Creek.

      Council voted Wednesday (February 13) to allocate $75,000 for the program this year.

      Utilizing a pump-out boat, the service was piloted in 2017, and extended in 2018.

      A staff report to council noted that 561 boats were serviced last year, collecting over 48,000 litres of sewage.

      Doing a quick math, councillor Colleen Hardwick noted in the meeting that each pump-out costs $134.

      “While it is difficult to predict the fate of this sewage in the absence of the service, user feedback suggests that the pump-out boat may have prevented between one third and one half of the volume pumped in each year from being discharged into local waters,” according to the report.

      False Creek is heavily polluted, with sewer overflows, storm water, and sewage from boats flowing into the waterway.

      In 2017, then councillor Andrea Reimer and mayor Gregor Robertson successfully introduced a motion for an initiative that includes making False Creek swimmable by the summer of 2018.

      A year after the motion passed, the pollution level in False Creek increased four times the safe threshold.