Spill Response

Where does the water go? Storm drains collect water runoff from everywhere in the urban environment, including homes, roads, parking lots and developments. This water flows directly into streams untreated. It often contains harmful contaminants that can damage fish and their habitats. 

Report a Spill

  • City Operations Division 604-987-7155 (M-F, 8 – 4:30) & 604-988-2212 (after hours emergency)
  • Emergency Management BC – 1-800-663-3456
  • 9-1-1 Emergency 

If you witness a spill, paint or chemicals being washed into a stormwater drain, or a contaminated stream, contact the City of North Vancouver Engineering Operations Department immediately at 604-987-7155 or after hours at 604-988-2212. You can also call the Emergency Management BC at 1-800-663-3456. If you see any spill that gives you immediate concern for your safety and the safety of others, call 9-1-1.

There are 2 types of pollution to the City's waterways:

  1. Point source pollution is from a single identifiable source like a factory, waste water treatment plant or some other facility. Most of the current federal, provincial and municipal regulations are regarding these types of pollution sources.

  2. Non-point source pollution is from multiple or unidentifiable sources. This includes stormwater runoff from roadways, parking lots, lawns and agricultural fields. This runoff can contain oils, soap, animal or human waste, sediment and fertilizers. Foreign substances like cleaning products, automotive fluids, fertilizers, paints, solvents, pool and hot tub water, and even loose soil can kill fish, insect and plant life when dumped into these drains.

The City has more than 150 km of storm sewers which collect rainfall from properties and streets. The storm system carries stormwater runoff, or rainwater, from roads and gutters to our streams and Burrard Inlet. Because the contents of storm drains are not treated before it enters City’s streams and Burrard Inlet, we need to keep storm drains clear of contaminants. Water running off properties can carry with it household chemicals and organic wastes like dirt, grass clippings and leaf litter that can pollute local streams and wildlife habitats.

The storm system is different than the sanitary system. The sanitary system carries wastes and water from within buildings and homes such as sinks, showers, toilets, basement floor drains and washing machines. This wastewater is transported to the North Shore Wastewater Treatment Plant where it is treated before the water is released back to the environment.

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