Thanks for getting Chopped with us!

A big thanks to everyone who participated in the second race of the MEC Big Chop Summer Paddle Series on May 16—and especially to all those who took a moment to visit us at the water table!

We had over 20 people correctly answer our trivia question, “What is a combined sewer overflow (CSO)?”

Right now Vancouver has a combined sewer system where stormwater runoff is combined with wastewater from our homes, businesses and industry into a single pipe. During dry weather this water flows to the treatment plant together through the one pipe.

However, in times of heavy rain (common in Vancouver), the combined sewer system may reach capacity where the treatment plants cannot handle the extra flow of water. In this case the untreated excess amounts will flow through a Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) directly into our waterways. This poses risks to our health and can create unsafe swimming conditions due to coliform bacteria pollution.

Use Swim Guide to see where the closest CSO is to your favourite swim or paddle spot so you can be sure to stay safe all summer long!

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