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After beach closed due to E. coli, Park Board Commissioner says city needs to step up

Last Updated Jul 1, 2019 at 12:02 am PDT

FILE: Sunset Beach (Source: Taran Parmar/NEWS 1130)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — After Sunset Beach  in Vancouver was closed off from swimming due to high levels of E.coli, a Vancouver Park Board Commissioner says the city needs to do more to keep the waters safe.

John Coupar says Vancouver should be a global role model when it comes to sewage systems, but adds until the city separates sewage from rain water that’s just not possible.

RELATED: Abnormally high E. coli levels found at two Vancouver beaches

“Fifty five per cent of its combined pipes are separated at this point. The plan is not to complete all the work, I believe, until 2050,” he says. “Well that’s a long time from now, and our population keeps growing.”

Coupar says water and sewage infrastructure is the City’s responsibility, and the park board is doing its part by offering free pump outs to recreational boaters.

He plans to ask Mayor Kennedy Stewart to reexamine the timeline. He thinks solving the sewage problem should be higher on the list of priorities.

Coupar says conditions in False Creek are “atrocious” for paddlers and that water advisories–especially so early in the season–reflect poorly on the city.

“People come to Vancouver because we have a great reputation for clean water and beaches and then they find the beaches are closed,” he says. “As a Vancouver resident I find that kind of embarrassing to us all.”