Storm & Sanitary Sewers
Burnaby’s Sanitary Sewer System collects sewage from homes and businesses and conveys it through a network of pipes and pump stations to Metro Vancouver's trunk network and treatment plants.
Burnaby's Storm Sewer System collects storm water, or rainwater runoff, from all impermeable surfaces (buildings, roads, parking lots, etc.) and discharges it into the waters that surround Burnaby, including the Burrard Inlet and the Fraser River.
Over 454 kilometres of storm sewers, and a similar number of ditches, drain into our creeks and streams and end up in one of three major rivers near Burnaby. Water from North Burnaby ends up in the Burrard Inlet, the Central Valley area drains into Still Creek, the Brunette River and eventually into the Fraser River, while South Burnaby's creeks and streams end up in the North Arm of the Fraser River.
We maintain pipes and ditches to ensure that water flows uninterrupted to these outlets while mitigating risk of flooding to homes and businesses. We work closely with local environmental stewardship groups and fishery agencies to ensure that our activities are environmentally responsible, and with Environmental Services division to track spills and minimize the effects that a spill might cause.
Sewer staff is responsible for operating and maintaining 690 kilometres of sanitary and combined sewer mains, 23 pump stations, and approximately 30,000 service connections.
Typical maintenance activities involve cleaning sewers by using sewer flush trucks inspecting and repairing manholes, repairing broken sewer mains and services.
Combined Sewer Separation Program
Since 1989, the City of Burnaby and other member municipalities of the Metro Vancouver (MV) have participated in the development of a Liquid Waste Management Plan (LWMP). This plan:
- Intends to manage liquid waste issues within MV
- Outlines the need for numerous sewerage facility improvements
- Includes improvement to eventually eliminate the combined sewers that are characteristically located within some of the older neighbourhoods of Burnaby, New Westminster and Vancouver
Why upgrade the sewer system?
Combined sewer systems collect sanitary sewage and storm water in a single sewer system. During wet weather these older combined sewer systems can't carry all the sewage flows to regional treatment plants, and by design, discharge excess flows (CSO) to the Burrard Inlet and Fraser River.
Overflows negatively impact the environment, so the City of Burnaby has committed to a remedial plan to eliminate all existing combined sewers and construct new separated sewage systems in their place.
Which sewer system do I have?
Over a period of several years, residents of the Galt sewer area should expect to see significant activity as the City replaces their sewer systems. The Galt sewer area is generally north of Dundas Street and west of North Gilmore Avenue.
Additional information regarding specific dates for construction within designated areas will be provided at the start of each annual construction program.
To date, the City has invested nearly $25 million and successfully separated over 10 kilometres of combined sewers within the Capitol-Hill and Westridge Sewer areas.