British Columbia

Keep False Creek doo doo free: Park Board, City of Vancouver offer free boat pump outs

The primary E. coli contamination is discharge of untreated sewage waste from marinas and recreational vessels according to City of Vancouver and Park Board officials.

Primary E. coli contamination from untreated sewage dumped from marinas and recreational vessels

It is illegal to dump sewage from boats within Vancouver’s surrounding waters. Offenders can face prosecution and fines of up to $10,000. (Christer Waara / CBC)

The City of Vancouver is offering free pump outs to pleasure crafts this weekend and for the summer in an effort to keep False Creek clean.

The city says with warm weather and increased boat traffic, E. coli counts from illegal dumping is on the rise in the waters surrounding the city.

It says boat sewage is a key source of fecal bacteria in False Creek.

Boat owners can get a free assisted pump out at the Burrard and Heather civic marinas between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. PT daily, or face fines of up to 10-thousand dollars if they illegally dump sewage from their vessels.

"We will work with the VPD Marine Unit and [the] city's environmental protection officers on measures escalating from education and warning to prosecutions," said a release from both the City of Vancouver and the Park Board.

The Burrard Marina offers additional summer pump-out hours until 9 p.m., assisted by a fuel barge operator while the Burrard and Heather Marinas offer free unassisted pump-outs 24/7 all year.