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Stay out of Squamish Estuary water, warns District

Muni installs warning signage urging people to avoid water activity in some areas of the estuary after sewage and greywater were discharged Saturday.
An example of a sign being put up in parts of the Squamish Estuary.

Now is not the time to wade into the estuary.

The District of Squamish announced on Jan. 17 that it is posting warning signage in some parts of the estuary that were affected by a sewage and greywater discharge over the weekend.

The signs state: “emergency work on the sanitary sewer system recently resulted in overflow to this part of the estuary.”
The signs urge people to refrain from activities on or in the water at this time.

Signs are expected to be in place for the next seven days, said the municipality, which made the announcement on social media.

The announcement also stated that the signs were placed around the estuary in co-ordination with provincial regulatory agencies.

Over the weekend, the wastewater lift station on Queens Way failed, forcing District crews to use vacuum trucks to transport wastewater to other manholes until a bypass line was set up.

Normally, sewage and greywater from downtown would be pumped to the Queens Way station, which would then funnel it further along the District’s pipe network until it eventually reaches the town’s wastewater treatment plant, by the Public Works Yard.

Before crews could set up a bypass line that would take the flow directly from downtown to the wastewater treatment plant, officials asked residents south of the Mamquam River to reduce their water use.

While the municipality announced the bypass operation was ultimately successful, crews had to discharge an unknown amount of wastewater into the estuary.
The District said this was done as a last resort to keep wastewater from backing up into people’s homes and businesses.


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