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Metro Vancouver pleads guilty in Stanley Park sewage spill

Metro Vancouver has pleaded guilty to a pollution charge under the Fisheries Act after a sewer overflow in Vancouver near Stanley Park sent untreated wastewater into Burrard Inlet in July of 2011.

A pump became partly blocked by a large solid mass and the resulting overflow released 650,000 cubic metres of wastewater into Burrard Inlet at Brockton Point, according to court documents.

The regional district and Crown prosecutors have jointly proposed Metro pay a $5,000 fine and a $105,000 payment to a fund for environmental rehabillitation projects. Sentencing is set for April 4 in provincial court.

Metro says it has improved its procedures to reduce the chances of a repeat incident.

Officials say the incident is an example of what can happen when residents flush items like wipes, rags, diapers, sanitary napkins and other products that can bind together and clog pipes and pumps.

Metro says pipes at some sewage pumping stations have to be manually unclogged twice or three times a week.

The Brockton Point overflow was of a combined sewer that carried a combination of  untreated sewage and stormwater runoff.

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