People are being told to avoid contact with the waters around Ganges Creek and Ganges Harbour as clean-up efforts continue after the local treatment plant’s piping system failed.
The Capital Regional District (CRD) stated that the Ganges Wastewater Treatment Plant experienced a mechanical failure on part of the above ground piping system, likely caused by cold temperatures. “Much of the volume was contained on site, but some sewage ran overland, entered the storm water system leading from the facility to Ganges Creek and out to Ganges Harbour,” the CRD stated.
Clean-up work has been done, with some affected areas including a section of the creek path north of the plant cordoned off, and warning signs have been put up. People are being told to avoid the areas where the spill happened, as well as water along the affected shorelines until testing determines there is no longer a health risk.
In addition to cold temperatures over the past week, the Southern Gulf Islands are under an Environment Canada wind warning.
With an extended period of strong winds expected into Sunday night, with winds of 70 kilometres per hour gusting to 90, several ferry sailings have been cancelled. Sunday afternoon sailings between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay have been cancelled, as have the two afternoon sailings between Long Harbour and Tsawwassen. A modified Long Harbour sailing at 5:20 p.m. will facilitate people getting to Vancouver Island (Swartz Bay), while no service will go to the mainland due to high winds.
For details about ferry cancellations, see @BCFerries on Twitter, bcferries.com/current-conditions or call 1-888-223-3779.
The weather warning also stated rain and rising temperatures could result in rapid snow melt.