Sewer Overflow Information Now Available to the Public in Real Time

Sewer Overflow Information Now Available to the Public in Real Time

Chair Update In this Issue Metro Vancouver Board Approves 2021 Budget and 2021-2025 Five-Year Financial Plan Sewer Overflow Information Now Available to the Public in Real Time New Lands Added to Burns Bog Water Conservation Campaign Continues to Gain Regional Awareness Metro Vancouver Set to Review and Update Liquid Waste Management Plan New Bylaw on Residential Indoor Wood Burning Assessing Customer Satisfaction with Waste Management Facilities Reconciliation Session with Senator Murray Sinclair Council of Councils Sub-Regional Forums on Systemic Racism Zero Waste Conference National Zero Waste Council Annual General Meeting Metro Vancouver Videos ISSUE 91, October 2020 On October 30, the Board approved Metro Vancouver’s 2021 operating budget and the Five-Year Financial Plan (2021-2025), which will support our work over the coming years. A Board Budget Workshop took place October 21 and we hosted a Council of Councils October 23. My sincere thanks to all the Metro Vancouver Board Directors and Committee members for their thoughtful engagement in this process and thank you as well to all the Mayors and Councils who joined us last Saturday for the Council of Councils. The 2021 budget is $28 million dollars less than proposed in the previous planning cycle, however, it is clear that more work needs to be done to minimize the impact in the future years. On the utilities front, we are wrapping up our annual We Love Water campaign, assessing our services at waste management stations, and preparing to review our Integrated Liquid Waste and Resource Management Plan. This month we also released a sewer overflow map that will make real-time information available to the public. As part of our continuing efforts to maintain good air quality, the Board has approved a new residential wood burning bylaw, which will be phased in starting in 2021. We have three important events coming up in November: the Council of Councils Sub-Regional Forums on racism, the Zero Waste Conference and the National Zero Waste Council annual general meeting. I encourage you to take part in these events, which tackle some of the key issues that our society is wrestling with at this moment. These events are sure to be both thought provoking and inspiring. Together we make our region strong. Sav Dhaliwal Chair, Metro Vancouver Board Metro Vancouver Board Approves 2021 Budget and 2021-2025 Five-Year Financial Plan Metro Vancouver Board Approves 2021 Budget and 2021-2025 Five-Year Financial Plan On October 30, 2020 the Metro Vancouver Board approved the 2021 annual operating budget necessary to build, maintain, and upgrade the infrastructure needed to provide a livable region. The approved budget of $939.5 million is $28 million dollars less than what was proposed in the previous planning cycle. In 2021, the average household will pay an additional $17 for all Metro Vancouver services, for an annual total of $577. The 3.2% increase is less than half of what was previously projected for 2021 and will be used for crucial upgrades to our water, liquid and solid waste infrastructure along with improvements to air quality, affordable housing and regional parks services that will benefit all residents of our region. While the Board also endorsed the Five-Year Financial Plan (2021-2025), which will guide future annual budgets and long-term financial plans, they were clear that more work is needed to manage fiscal impacts in a sensitive economy due to the pandemic. Projected capital investments over the five years exceed $6 billion. They focus on utility system upgrades to meet federal requirements and major capital projects that are necessary to make infrastructure more resilient to an earthquake, to accommodate future population growth, and for mandatory secondary wastewater treatment. Learn more about the 2021 budget and five-year financial plan. Sewer Overflow Information Now Available to the Public in Real Time

Anyone can now access real-time information on the Metro Vancouver website about sewer overflows that are active and that have occurred in the last 48 hours (water quality typically returns to previous conditions after that period), and sign up to receive a notification when new overflows start.

Sewer overflows occur when untreated or partially treated wastewater is discharged into the environment instead of being processed at a wastewater treatment plant. This can happen because of heavy rainfall, pipe breaks, power outages, or equipment malfunction.

Metro Vancouver has been reporting sewer overflows to the federal and provincial governments, regional health authorities, and municipalities for many years. Recent modeling capability has allowed Metro Vancouver to more accurately predict the movement of wastewater discharged into the environment and provide overflow information to the public in real time.

Every day, Metro Vancouver collects and treats more than one billion litres of wastewater at its five treatment plants. Over the next five years, Metro Vancouver is investing more than $6 billion in infrastructure projects, including treatment plant and sewer upgrades, back-up power supplies, and additional wastewater storage tanks. These upgrades will help reduce overflows.

Get more information about sewer overflows at and  learn about why sewer overflows happen when it rains and the work being done to reduce them.