While authorities are trying to sort out a possible sewage issue in French Creek

Sewage dumping has French Creek residents concerned

There seems to be jurisdictional confusion among various governments and agencies

Some French Creek residents are worried about what appears to be sewage in a storm ditch, but authorities aren’t clear on whose responsibility it is.

“Someone has been dumping an RV holding tank into the storm sewer ditch somewhere in our neighbourhood,” said Landy Stevens, who lives on Pintail Drive at Johnstone Road, adding this is particularly troubling since the ditch flows directly to the beach a block away, so he erected a sign pointing to that fact.

“I was surprised to see toilet paper in the open ditch on Pintail Drive,” said his neighbour John Baxter, who suggests sewer and storm water may be somehow mixing.

“The RDN (Regional District of Nanaimo) has been aware for over a year,” Baxter said. “There are no signs warning people at the beach of the crap in the water outflow.”

The residents said various agencies, including the RDN, Island Health and provincial ministries of the environment and transportation have been contacted about the situation.

RDN staff confirmed they attended the scene, but said they didn’t find much.

“After receiving a report of sewage in a ditch on Pintail Road, RDN staff contacted the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) and arranged for a joint site visit,” said Gerald St. Pierre, RDN Project Engineer, Water and Utility Services.

“Following the visit, the RDN smoke tested the sewer mains in the area to ensure the concerns were not related to our infrastructure and to check for any possible cross connections,” St. Pierre said by e-mail.

“The testing indicated that RDN sewer facilities were not causing the concerns and cross connections were not present. MOTI has jurisdiction over the storm drainage system, including ditches, and has taken over the investigation.”

MOTI was contacted but didn’t have any more details by press deadline.

Similarly an Island Health spokesperson said they did attend, but only that “Our role is to abate a potential health hazard and we believe that has been done,” suggesting the Qualicum Beach engineering department might have more details.

Qualicum Beach Director of Engineering Bob Weir was out of the office, but Chief Administrative Officer Daniel Sailland said he had not heard anything about the town dealing with a sewer issue on that side of town, confirming that Johnstone Road is a couple blocks outside their boundary, in French Creek, technically RDN electoral area G.

Meanwhile at least three residents in the area have contacted The NEWS about the issue, which they see as a serious public health concern and at the very least would desperately like to know where the apparent sewage is coming from.

While evidence of sewage was not immediately visible on Tuesday the residents said it comes and goes with the rain. A sign was posted by residents more than three weeks ago.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Resident discovers five discarded hog heads in a ditch in Coombs

WARNING: Graphic image may be upsetting to some readers

RDN budget includes unexpected $1.5 million for sewer pipe replacement

Pipe corrosion at Departure Bay discovered in December

People tab ‘Roaring ’20s’ as theme for Parksville sand sculpting competition

‘Topsy Turvy’ and ‘Celebrate!’ also considered for 2020 beach festival event

Businesses asked to join Parksville 75th Passport Program

City to hold birthday celebrations from June to August

Blues and jazz icons to play in Parksville

Diana Braithwaite and Chris Whiteley at Ground Zero

Blair says RCMP have met Wet’suwet’en conditions, calls for end to blockades

The Wet’suwet’en’s hereditary chiefs oppose the Coastal GasLink project

Exclusive: Pamela Anderson talks plans for waterfront Ladysmith property after 12-day marriage

Anderson says she can pay her own bills. Peters denies making comments suggesting she can’t

Burger King breaks the mould with new advertising campaign

The company is known for irreverent ad campaigns

Petition seeks to remove local police department from Lindsay Buziak murder case

American woman starts online petition in hopes of helping Buziak family

Health officials confirm sixth COVID-19 case in B.C.

Woman remains in isolation as Fraser Health officials investigate

Study says flu vaccine protected most people during unusual influenza season

Test-negative method was pioneered by the BC Centre for Disease Control in 2004

Saskatchewan and B.C. reach championship round at Scotties

British Columbia’s Corryn Brown locked up the last berth in Pool B

B.C. lawyer, professor look to piloting a mental-health court

In November, Nova Scotia’s mental-health court program marked 10 years of existence

COLUMN: Not an expert on First Nations government structures? Then maybe you should calm down

Consider your knowledge about First Nations governance structures before getting really, really mad

Most Read