Williams Lake Creek Sewage Spill

DISCLAIMER: Information provided is based on reports received by Emergency Management B.C. Information provided is considered to be current at the time of posting, but is subject to change as new information becomes available.

Incident Description

Incident Date April 26, 2020
Name DGIR: 200295
Source Sewage
Nearest Community Williams Lake
Spilled Content Sewage
Who is involved? B.C. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, City of Williams Lake, Williams Lake Indian Band, Tŝilhqot'in Nation, Esk'etemc Band, Xatśūll Soda Creek First Nations, Northern Shuswap Tribal Council, First Nations Health Authority, Interior Health Authority, Emergency Management B.C., Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), Environment and Climate Change Canada

 


Response Phase Detail

The responsible person or spiller is legally required to clean-up or manage the clean-up of a spill. In incidents where the responsible person is unknown, unable or unwilling to manage the clean up, the Ministry of Environment & Climate Change Strategy (ENV) may assume the role. The updates below reflect the Ministry’s oversight of the spillers’ actions; details describe the spill response phase, only, and not the complete lifecycle of the spill. See More Information for other related reports. 

Updates are in reverse chronological order, with the most recent at the top. Industry-specific language may be explained in the Glossary of Terms (PDF).

Most Recent Update

November 27, 2020 - 3:00 pm

Please see the joint media release on behalf of the B.C. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy (ENV), Williams Lake First Nation and the City of Williams Lake.

July 16, 2020 - 4:30 pm

Heavy Rains Hamper Spill Cleanup Work in River Valley

Please see the joint media release on behalf of the B.C. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy (ENV), Williams Lake First Nation and the City of Williams Lake.

July 2, 2020 - 5:00 pm 

Crews Complete Pipe Installation and Continue Road Work 

Please see the Joint Media Release on behalf of the B.C. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy (ENV), Williams Lake First Nation and the City of Williams Lake.

Media enquiries 

B.C. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy

Media Relations

250 953-3834

June 26, 2020 - 5:15 pm 

Crews Continue Rebuilding Roads, Sewer Infrastructure in River Valley

Please see the Joint Media Release on behalf of the B.C. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy (ENV), Williams Lake First Nation and the City of Williams Lake.

Media enquiries 

B.C. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy

Media Relations

250 953-3834

June 5, 2020 - 4:20 pm

Ground crews continue to work onsite to repair the roads and bridges along the river valley sewage discharge pipe route. Water quality sampling and archeological assessments are ongoing. 

Unified Command has been established with Emergency Management BC (EMBC), City of Williams Lake, Williams Lake Indian Band, and the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy (ENV) to ensure that all plans are reviewed and approved by those involved in the incident. 

An Environmental Emergency Response Officer (EERO) remains onsite to monitor the incident and work with closely with our partners. 

Further updates will be provided as information becomes available

May 15, 2020 - 5:00 pm

Water quality sampling and archeological monitoring works are underway.

An Environmental Emergency Response Officer (EERO) from the B.C. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy (ENV) continues to monitor the situation. 

The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy will continue work closely with our partners at the City of Williams Lake and the Williams Lake Indian Band as well as other local and federal partners. Further updates will be provided as information becomes available. 

May 7, 2020 - 3:00 pm

The state of emergency issued by the City of Williams Lake remains in effect as does the state of emergency declared by Williams Lake Indian Band (WLIB) for Tillion Reserve #4

A temporary bridge was installed on site yesterday evening allowing access to the spill site. Crews were able to divert the partially treated sewage into secondary treatment. As of 14:00 today only fully treated effluent is being discharged into Williams Lake River.

Contractors are on site collecting sediment and water samples. Archeological monitoring of the areas impacted by flooding and the subsequent spill continues.

Two Environmental Emergency Response Officers (EERO) from the B.C. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy (ENV) remain on site monitoring the situation and liaising with the City of Williams Lake and the Williams Lake Indian Band (WLIB).

Further updates will be provided as information becomes available

May 1, 2020 - 8:40 pm

Untreated sewage is no longer entering the watercourse though some partially treated sewage is still spilling. Interior Health has confirmed that no private water intakes were affected. Water samples have been collected for analysis.

The B.C. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy (ENV) is working with Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) as well as Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) regarding additional protection measures.

Environmental Emergency Response Officers (EERO) from B.C. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy will soon be on site to monitor the incident as it resolves.

A Pollution Abatement Order was issued by the Williams Lake Indian Band to the City of Williams Lake on April 30, 2020.

Further updates will be provided when new information is available.

April 30, 2020 - 5:45 pm

On April 26th a City of Williams Lake sewage line broke resulting in partially treated and untreated sewage entering the Williams Lake Creek. The break was the result of severe flooding in the area.

The City has declared a state of emergency and has activated its Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) due to the flooding and is managing the situation with support from Emergency Management B.C. (EMBC). An Environmental Emergency Response Officer (EERO) from the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy (ENV) is monitoring the situation and providing guidance during spill clean up.

A coordination call was held today (April 30, 2020) by the B.C. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy to share incident related information and updates with all involved groups.

Further updates will be provided as more information becomes available.

Approximate Incident Location