Rainy days strain sewers: Metro Vancouver is working to prevent backups

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Residents and businesses also play a crucial role in reducing the amount of unwanted water flowing into sewers

With the rainy season quickly approaching, Metro Vancouver is drawing attention to the growing issue of excess rainwater and groundwater entering the sanitary sewer system.

The primary purpose of these sewers is to convey domestic sewage, but when excess rainwater and groundwater enter, they overwhelm the system. This can not only lead to public health and environmental concerns due to overflows but also becomes a financial strain as rainwater, in addition to sewage, is treated.“Ultimately, if we don’t manage the problem at the source, we’ll have to do costly infrastructure upgrades. We are trying to deal with the problem now,” Antony says.

Residential and business property owners should inspect their pipes with a camera every 10 years and fix or replace damaged ones. Ensure roof and foundation drains are correctly connected. If not, consult a professional for rerouting. For its part, Metro Vancouver, in collaboration with municipalities, is addressing unwanted water in the sewer system by pinpointing high-risk neighbourhoods and seeking solutions, enhancing infrastructure, and performing regular maintenance to minimize sewer overflows. They're also looking at incentives for private property repairs and integrating inflow and infiltration reduction strategies into regional wastewater plans.

 

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