Help orcas and wild Pacific salmon: Deadline TODAY for public input on upgrade to Iona Island Wastewater Treatment Plant (Metro Vancouver)


Photo: CityHallWatch

Here is a topic on which more public support could make a big difference for many decades to come. A crucial deadline for public input is today, June 8, 2020. Below we share an e-mail from Celia Brauer, staff member and co-founder of the False Creek Watershed Society. See our previous post on this topic here.

This topic is relevant to everyone in Vancouver and Metro Vancouver, as much of our sewage flows to this treatment plant. Links to extensive reference material are provided further below.

To provide your input into the consultation, please click this link or write a direct e-mail.


E-mail from Celia Brauer, False Creek Watershed Society (

June 3, 2020

Hello Water Friends,

Metro Vancouver is planning to upgrade the Iona Island Wastewater Treatment Plant. Your input is welcome by June 8, 2020.

Our present Iona Island Treatment Facility for the City of Vancouver is a primary treatment plant. This has been woefully inadequate for decades. Metro Vancouver is considering upgrading to secondary treatment. News of an upgrade is welcomed. However, the Salish Sea has been grossly polluted by Vancouver’s sewage for too long and this has negatively impacted sea life and human health. If the job is to be done properly now, tertiary treatment must be the preferred option.

We are frequently told it is too expensive to upgrade this kind of infrastructure to the highest quality. However, if wastewater treatment has not been regarded as an essential expenditure in the past, it certainly should be in the present and future. Many of us believe it is our duty as residents of Coast Salish lands to do our best to support the life in the waters and on the lands which surround us. This must be stressed to all levels of governments so that they can take this issue seriously. We should not just consider how attractive the front end of our human cities are. It is about what happens in our backyard as well and how we value all the ecosystems surrounding us.

The Lower Mainland of British Columbia is situated at the mouth of the greatest salmon river in the world. Because local First Nations embedded the innate value of flora and fauna, earth and water into their social ecological systems for millennia, the Pacific Coast was once the richest place on earth. Today it still has richness left but it is a shadow of its former self. We can still make the effort to preserve and enhance what is left and what can be revitalized.

We speak frequently about the health of iconic species such as orcas and salmon who rely on clean water for sustenance and health. The vast food chain at our back door is dependent on local land and waters and human stewardship. From invertebrates to small forage fish to very large mammals and human societies, it is our duty to keep our common water clean. This mean doing the best we can to reduce and mitigate all our waste.

Please forward this email to individuals and groups so everyone’s opinion can join this very important discussion.

Celia Brauer, Staff and co-founder,

False Creek Watershed Society


Wastewater Upgrades Resources

Immediate and direct – deadline June 8, 2020:

Direct link for individual consultation with background information from Georgia Straight Alliance:

Direct emails can be sent to by June 8th. That email is sent directly to the Metro Vancouver staff team who is collecting public input, which will be collated and distributed to the Metro Vancouver Liquid Waste Committee, chaired by Richard Stewart, Mayor of Coquitlam

Supporting Resources

Present consultation:

Iona Island Treatment Plant, background:

History of the North Shore Treatment Plant:

First discussion of secondary treatment

Final decision: tertiary treatment

Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products in water near Victoria:


Drugs in water bodies: tertiary treatment needed to remove drugs in waterways:


Coffee in urban wastewater:


Opinion: to understand covid-19 transmission, we have to understand our wastewater:


Pollution Tracker: Ocean Wise


Burrard Inlet Study: by Tsleil-waututh Nation


Contaminants in wastewater


Photo: CityHallWatch

orca in body of water

Photo by Andre Estevez on

2 thoughts on “Help orcas and wild Pacific salmon: Deadline TODAY for public input on upgrade to Iona Island Wastewater Treatment Plant (Metro Vancouver)

  1. We have to do the best upgrade possible and tertiary must be the preferred option for sea life and that of human life

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