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Sewage System in Vancouver

Vancouver sewage system

Recently, the Province of British Columbia began working towards eliminating sewage overflows by 2050 in Vancouver. The Province is looking to replace all of its combined sewer systems with modern separated sewer systems.

Well, what does this mean for you?

Traditionally sewer systems are what are called “combined sewer systems”. What this means is stormwater runoff and the wastewater from your home flows into a single pipe. This combined sewage water then flows to the sewage treatment plant where it is processed and cleaned. The problem with a combined sewer system is space.

If we are experiencing a particularly wet month with heavy rainfall, the amount of stormwater in the pipe greatly increases. This can cause the untreated water to overflow and empty directly into our waterways.

How is the sewage system in Vancouver is going to change? 

A two-pipe separated sewer system still collects stormwater from storm drains. However, instead of flowing into the same pipe as wastewater, it will now be in its own pipe. Not only will this greatly reduce the risk of overflow and water contamination, but it also has environmental benefits. The stormwater can now be redirected and used for other purposes, so it is not merely dumped in with the wastewater.

Sewer separation programs

The city of Vancouver is currently running two sewer separation programs.

One is dealing with the sewer systems of public roads and properties. The other program deals with the sewer systems that serve private properties, like your home. This second program is focusing on smaller areas whose old sewer systems have to fall under specific conditions.

First, there has to be a history of sewer blockages that the city of Vancouver is fully or partially responsible for. Second, that the sewer maintenance program the city of Vancouver implemented is no longer effective. Lastly, if the property owner has recently replaced the private property portion of the sewer system and reports to the city that it’s portion is in poor condition. This last condition is the most important for all homeowners.

Combined sewer system

The city of Vancouver is taking it upon itself to change the combined sewer system. However, they are leaving the homeowner responsible for their portion of the sewer system. This means that you, the homeowner, will have to upgrade the sewer connection on your property at your own expense.

The team at MidCity Plumbing don’t want to see your home get cut off from this new sewer system. A problem with your drainage system can cause a wide range of problems, from the seemingly trivial, like a bad odor, to the more serious, such as the foundation of your house becoming compromised. This can lead to even more costly repairs.

MidCity Plumbing will gladly get your drainage system prepared for the impending sewer system change. Our experienced plumbers have the knowledge and the tools to deal with any sewer system.

Separated sewer systems have already been installed in the following areas: Downtown, West End, Fairview, Hasting, Killarney, Mt. Pleasant, Renfrew and Burrard Inlet and Fraser River shorelines.  By the year 2020 there are plans to have separated sewer systems in Grandview, Kitsilano, Point Grey, Shaughnessy and Sunrise.

Let us at MidCity Plumbers help you get ahead of the curve and make this sewer system change a simple and easy transition.

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