Vancouver Park Board launches campaign to reduce E. coli in False Creek

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Vancouver Park Board met last week to approve a campaign that aims to keep sewage out of False Creek.

The motion is seen as an effort to steer clear of what issues arose in the waters last summer.

The Canadian Recreational Water Quality Guidelines recommend a level of less than 200 E. coli bacteria per 100 mL of water. 

But last August, a spike in E. coli levels in waters around Metro Vancouver brought forth a swimming ban to four beaches. False Creek East had a E. coli level reading of 5,319, making it 26 times more than the acceptable amount of bacteria in the water recommended safe for swimmers.

Image: Canadian Coast Gaurd

SEE ALSO: 5,000 litres of diesel fuel spilled in False Creek

The new campaign contains a social awareness plan aimed at “raising awareness of improper disposal actions on water quality.”

Boaters will be the main target of this campaign, as signage around marinas will remind them that they can help reduce E. coli levels by ensuring that their vessel waste is discharged at pump-out stations instead of the water. The park board hopes to spearhead the campaign before a busy boating season.

Signs around the beach will also be set up to remind pet owners to clean up dog waste, not discharge them in storm drains, and to dispose of them properly.

Many factors can contribute to the decline of recreational quality water, but with more public awareness the park board hopes to counter high levels of bacteria.

To keep up to date with the city’s water quality reports, visit here.

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Behdad Mahichi is currently an Editorial Assistant at Vancity Buzz and a journalism student at Ryerson University. He writes about anything from entertainment and politics to his misfortunately extreme caffeine addiction.
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