FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Officials with the BC Conservation Officer Service are warning area residents of the potential ramifications of illegal dumping, especially the dumping of sewage or grey water.

Conservation Officer Andrew Riddell said that on November 16th, a concerned resident in the Fort St. John area advised officials of some Facebook posts where it was said that discharging domestic sewage and grey water into backyards and ditches was lawful. Riddell said that in the Facebook discussion it was expressed that this is somewhat of a common practice in the Fort St. John area, and some Facebook user’s mentioned they had no idea the discharge of sewage was even a regulated practice.

The Conservation Officer Service would like to inform all residents in the Peace River Regional District area that the discharge of this waste is unlawful, and is highly regulated. Under the Environmental Management Act and the Waste Discharge Regulations, it is an offence under sections 6(2) and 6(3) to “introduce or cause or allow waste to be introduced into the environment”. When an individual empties their residential or commercial septic tank onto the ground or into the environment they are committing an offence under the Environmental Management Act.

By discharging the contents of the septic tank illegally, a person committing the offence could be handed a $575 ticket from Conservation Officers. In addition, those convicted in court face a fine of up to $1 million, six months’ imprisonment, or a combination of both.

The Conservation Officer Service would also like to remind commercial and residential landowners that the storage, handling, and transportation of waste must be done so lawfully. This includes making sure that the waste generated by a home or business is received at the proper waste treatment facility.

Suspected environmental violations can be reported to the Report All Poacher and Polluters tip line at 1-877-952-7277, or #7277.