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Canada Flushing Raw Sewage into the Ocean

| Modified 18 Apr, 2016 | Views 857

Canada flushes some 200 billion liters of raw sewage directly into the St. Lawrence River, the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Pacific Ocean every year.


Canada Takes Crap for Flushing Raw Sewage into the Ocean


This may look like a pristine coastline, but millions of litres of raw sewage are being dumped into this area each day, threatening human and ecosystem health. Credit: palestrina55 via Flickr.Canada flushes some 200 billion liters of raw sewage directly into natural waterways every year, from the St. Lawrence River to the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Pacific Ocean.

Greater Victoria dumps an average of 82 million litres of raw sewage into the Juan de Fuca Strait every day.

The sewage is screened before being discharged, but is otherwise not treated.

Victoria and Esquimalt

The region pumps about 130-million litres of raw sewage daily into the Juan de Fuca Strait, a channel leading to the Pacific Ocean.

A Dangerous Brew

According to Macleans, Canada’s leading news magazine, the sewage is a mixture of water, human waste, microorganisms, toxic chemicals, heavy metals, excreted pharmaceuticals and, potentially, pathogens such as cholera, typhoid and hepatitis B.

Canada has no national standards for sewage treatment that cities and towns must follow.

Victoria Proud of Pollution

According to many environmentalists, however, the worst offender in the Canadian landscape is Victoria, the picturesque provincial capital of British Columbia. Not only does Victoria pump its raw sewage directly into the Strait of Juan de Fuca, an arm of the Pacific Ocean, but city officials also claim they are doing the “right and responsible thing” for their community and the environment. They see no reason to change.

Victoria’s long-delayed sewage treatment plans have become an international irritant, with Washington State demanding the B.C. government step in to stop the flow of raw waste into the ocean. Environmentalists and communities in the United States complain of pollution.

The federal Green Party candidate also opposed the sewage-treatment plan.

The Victoria sewage debate has been swirling for decades. Many are worried that when the Capital Regional District finally builds sewage treatment plants to manage millions of litres of raw sewage being dumped into the ocean each day, along with the tonnes of toxic chemicals in that sewage, their taxes will go up.

Continuing to delay action can only put our health and our ecosystem's health in further peril.

The Great Montreal Sewage Dump of 2015

Montreal dumped 8 billion litres of raw sewage into the St. Lawrence River rather than spend $1 billion disposing of it correctly.

Eight billion litres — the equivalent of 2,600 Olympic-sized pools — of toilet waste and discharges from hospitals and businesses.

The average concentration of fecal bacteria in the St. Lawrence is under 200 units per 100ml of water. After the release of Denis’ Diarrhea into the river, the levels temporarily rose to 2.7 million per 100ml. That’s an increase of nearly 14,000 fold.

By the way, on rainy days Montreal routinely dumps untreated sewage in the St. Lawrence, too.

In the past, the City of Montreal has dumped wastewater into the river from the same interceptor sewer.

  • Spring 2003 : 10 billion litres
  • Fall 2003 : 7.6 billion litres
  • Fall 2005 : 770 million litres

References

Victoria sewer dispute hits the fan as Washington state urges B.C. intervene
Canada Takes Crap for Flushing Raw Sewage into the Ocean

Sewage treatment plant proposal goes down the drain
David Suzuki It's time to end the sewage treatment war in Victoria
Toronto Sun

Victoria sewage woes still cause stink as region sends site proposal down drain - The Canadian Press Posted: Sep 13, 2015 - The region pumps about 130-million litres of raw effluent daily into the Juan de Fuca Strait, which has prompted harsh criticism from environmentalists, as well as the province's American neighbour.



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