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City of Vancouver rolls out mobile pump service for boats

Last Updated Aug 15, 2017 at 2:52 pm PDT

The City of Vancouver's new pump boat, costing around $75,000. (Kurtis Doering, NEWS 1130 Photo)

City of Vancouver aiming to make False Creek swimmable by next summer

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – A new piece of equipment promises to be a major help in the city’s efforts to make False Creek “swimmable” in time for summer 2018.

The mobile pump-out service is aimed at the area’s boat operators, who sometimes dump raw sewage directly into the water.

The $75,000 unassuming black rubber craft has already been operating for several days.

“Currently we have, just off Kits Point, a lot of derelict boats and boats that sit there that don’t get the opportunity to make it to our marinas, and so this will give us an opportunity to go one step further,” says Vancouver Park Board chair Michael Wiebe.

Analysis of water quality in False Creek shows that most of the contamination is human-caused, though the testing has been limited so far.

“This is a large issue and there’s a lot of different things that we need to do to clean up False Creek,” Wiebe adds. “We’re changing the habitat, we’re going to bring out new forms of ways to clean the water. But without these initiatives, it won’t work.”

Mayor Gregor Robertson admits the goal of making the waterway safe to swim in by next summer is an ambitious one.

Speaking to reporters in Vanier Park, Robertson raised the prospect of installing a floating barge pool which would allow people to – in a way – swim in False Creek while the clean-up efforts continue.

The city is still studying how water moves within the inlet, and where all the contamination is coming from.