British Columbia

Accidental flush of untreated Victoria B.C. sewage spews into ocean

An accidental release of unscreened sewage off the coast of Victoria B.C. on Saturday morning sent enough waste into the ocean that officials warned people to stay out of the water near Ross Bay and Clover Point.

Clover Point outfall released plume of sewage after heavy rain overwhelmed pump station

Clover Point in Victoria was being considered as an option for a wastewater treatment plant. Residents made a stink and protested against the decision. (Facebook)

An accidental release of unscreened sewage off the coast of Victoria B.C. on Saturday morning sent enough waste into the ocean that officials warned people to stay out of nearby waters.

In a press release Capital Regional District officials said the discharge of untreated waste water was caused by equipment failure after heavy rains flushed so much debris into the pump station that it failed.

"As a result of this discharge, residents are advised to avoid swimming or wading in waters along the Ross Bay and Clover Point area shorelines, as the wastewater may pose a health risk," said the written release.

Water will be tested after heavy rain causes accident

The accidental discharged happened around 11:30 a.m. PT on Sept. 17.

The CRD release said the problem has since been resolved.

Water samples are being collected along the affected shorelines.

Public Health advisory signs will be posted until tests can be done to ensure that enterococci — a bacteria used to measure fecal matter — levels are acceptable.

Capital Regional District recently voted in favour of building a regional sewage treatment plant at McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt.

The decision was a major development in the CRD's decades-long battle over where and how to treat sewage from the region.

The federal government wanted a final decision on a location by Sept. 30 or the project could have lost $253.4 million in federal funding.

The province has committed to providing another $248 million toward the project's $765 million budget.

The CRD faces a deadline of 2020 to provide secondary sewage treatment.

Mr. Floatie is one citizen's attempt to protest the amount of raw sewage that continues to flow into Juan de Fuca Strait each day. It's been a long-standing issue in Victoria B.C. (Mr. Floatie/Facebook)

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