The Province is advising owners of sewer systems who live in flooded areas of B.C. about potential risks for human health and the environment, and how to mitigate them.
During flooding and while standing water persists, sewer systems cannot function properly. Flooding can also lead to saturated soil conditions, erosion or land surface changes that can damage systems or change how the system functions after water recedes. A damaged or failed system may result in sewage backed up into the home, contaminated drinking water, or other unsanitary conditions.
People who own or are responsible for an on-site sewer system that has been affected by flooding should contact an authorized person to assess the proper functioning of the system. If it is not functioning properly, they should stop using the system and shut off power to any pumps while assessing the cause of the problem. The following resource will help take appropriate action to protect human health and the environment:
The Sewerage System Regulation requires an authorized person to conduct construction, including repairs and maintenance, of on-site systems. For more information about authorized people and other resources related to on-site systems:
In some cases, local governments will have guidance, support or bylaws relating to sewer systems. Check with them for more resources.
For questions about on-site system administration, drinking water safety or public health in regions of B.C., contacts for each health authority are found here:
For more general information on onsite sewerage systems administration, please visit your health authority’s website:
First Nations Health: https://www.fnha.ca/about/news-and-events/news/important-flood-safety-information
Fraser Health: https://www.fraserhealth.ca/health-topics-a-to-z/onsite-sewerage-systems/resources-for-onsite-sewerage-systems-property-owners-and-authorized-persons#.YZVzLPnMKUk
Interior Health: https://www.interiorhealth.ca/health-and-wellness/natural-disasters-and-emergencies/floods-and-landslides
Island Health: https://www.islandhealth.ca/learn-about-health/environment/sewerage-subdivision
Northern Health: https://www.northernhealth.ca/health-topics/flood-information
Vancouver Coastal Health: http://www.vch.ca/public-health/environmental-health-inspections/healthy-built-environment/sewer-systems-filings
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