The Association has been contacted by pumpers and installers working in the Fraser Valley Regional District about a lack of available infrastructure for accepting and treating septage.
Most homes being built in rural areas rely on septic systems for their wastewater infrastructure. Until the beginning of October this year that has not been a significant issue as pumpers could haul their loads to the Chilliwack receiving facility and discharge there. However, Chilliwack has now started enforcing a bylaw that was put into place in 2018 which limits their acceptance of septage to City of Chilliwack residents only.
Suddenly, pumpers have nowhere to haul their septage. The City of Hope has a receiving facility, however it apparently will only accept 500 Imperial gallons per day. With the size of most septic tanks double that volume or larger, that is less than one septic tank’s volume per day.
Agassiz is looking at expanding their facility, however that does not resolve the current issue. Cultus Lake is also constructing a facility for their immediate area, however they too will limit service to only those in their region when their facility is completed.
Abbotsford’s facility services Mission as well, and has no capacity for out of region septage.
This situation has not only negatively impacted the operation of the pumping community, it has left large areas of the FVRD without service. Currently, Deroche, Cultus Lake, Bridal Falls, some areas of Agassiz, and various First Nations communities have no access.
WCOWMA-BC has been contacting the various stakeholders to gain a better understanding of the issues and has been contacted by a representative of FVRD to provide input on potential short and long-term solutions.
In the meantime, Board member James Stiksma was interviewed on October 25 by Global News and then by the Vancouver Province and the Vancouver Sun. The news made the front page of the Vancouver Sun.