British Columbia

B.C. storm causes sewage overflows in Greater Victoria

The Capital Regional District is advising people to stay away from several Greater Victoria beaches due to sewage overflows caused by Thursday's storm.

Capital Regional District advising people to stay away from several Greater Victoria beaches

The view from McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt, B.C.. It is one of the areas where the CRD has advised against swimming and wading for humans and their pets. (Google Streetview)

The heavy rains that hit B.C. on Thursday have caused the Capital Regional District to advise people to stay away from beaches on southern Vancouver Island, after storm water and sewage combined to create overflows.

The waste water is pumped, raw, into the Strait of Juan de Fuca by the CRD municipalities, and now the CRD has advised the public not to wade along the shorelines or allow their pets into the water in the core area of Greater Victoria.

"There may be a public health risk, so we're working closely with Island Health and the municipalities in the area to post signage along the affected shorelines," said Ted Robbins, the CRD's general manager of Integrated Water Services.

Robbins said the affected areas go from Arbutus Cove east to Ten Mile Point, Cadboro Point to Clover Point, along Dallas Road, and McLoughlin Point to Saxe Point and Macaulay Point.

Such sewer overflows are not unheard of in the CRD, but Robbins says they usually don't happen outside of peak sewer usage times: early morning and early evening.

He says the late overflow this time was a testament to how much rain came down on Thursday.

Robbins said the advisory will last until at least late on Sunday, when sampling of the water will be carried out after the storm has passed.

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