The Peace River Regional District has beefed up its sewer bylaws after a commercial hauler bypassed its Charlie Lake sewage facility by dumping at a residential connection.
The PRRD’s bylaw department has threatened Nor Vac Services with legal action, saying it refused to comply with dumping regulations. The department was initially informed that the company was dumping at a residential lot instead of at its receiving facility by the Conservation Officer Service.
“The Northern Health Authority conducted an inspection of the facility and reported to the PRRD that vacuum trucks belonging to Nor Vac Services were unloading into storage tanks inside a tarp-covered building upon which the sewage was separated and the remaining effluent was being discharged into the PRRD Charlie Lake Sewer System by means of an existing sewer connection,” a regional district report states.
Any damage to the sewage treatment system could put the regional district in violation of Northern Health and Ministry of Environment regulations.
According to PRRD Chief Administrative Officer Chris Cvik, Nor Vac wasn’t breaking any rules under the old system. He said the board now has the power to begin legal proceedings against the company if the dumping continues.
However, he said residential customers on the Charlie Lake sewer system pay a flat rate, compared to commercial haulers at the receiving station, who pay by volume.
“What was happening was this person from a commercial enterprise was coming in and putting the liquids into the Charlie Lake system, where previously they were taking their load to the transfer system and paying a fee to have it taken there,” he said.
“What they were doing was correct, there wasn’t anything in our bylaw that prevented that, but it wasn’t the intent of the bylaw,” he added.
Nor Vac’s Carol Kube said she was hoping to prove a point about the patchwork of sewer regulations for commercial haulers, saying the current rules benefit some haulers over others and create confusion.
“This is our endeavour to level the playing field for all sewer haulers,” she said. “Everyone should have to play by the same bylaws, regulations and rules.”