UPDATE: The City of Campbell River issued a clarification on July 31, saying a spill of raw sewage wasn’t caused by the construction firm Wacor Holdings. Meanwhile, the company says city staff shut down pumps during repairs to the broken pipe, causing sewage to overflow at Simms Creek. Read the full story here.
Raw sewage ended up on the beach around Simms Creek following a sewer pipe rupture last week, according to the city.
The aging pipe broke after Wacor, the contractor working on the Highway 19A sewer upgrade project, “inadvertently made contact with (an) old sanitary line,” said Drew Hadfield, the city’s director of operations.
“On Monday, July 22, there was a break in the old asbestos cement sewer pipe on Highway 19A, near the bottom of Rockland Road, following construction work in the area,” Hadfield said in an email.
“The break was responded to immediately and repaired within two and half hours,” he said. “Unfortunately this resulted in a spill lasting about 30 minutes.”
He said that appropriate authorities were notified and that environmental professionals are assessing the situation.
The public is asked to stay away from the beach at the mouth of Simms Creek, which is a salmon-bearing urban creek, until monitoring confirms there is no public health risk. Signs were erected at the beach turning people away from the area.
Hadfield noted the ruptured pipe is part of the infrastructure currently being replaced.
“The sensitivity of the pipe highlights the need for its replacement,” he said.