Excerpt: One of the ubiquitous social-media images of Vancouver is the aerial shot of its downtown peninsula, with picture-postcard water surrounding it. But underneath some of those glittering blue surfaces is a sludge pile of bacteria and human and animal waste.
That reality hit home again as Vancouver prepares for what looks like a bad summer of beach closings because of high E. coli counts. Of the four beaches currently closed, two are close to Vancouver sewer outflows: Sunset Beach, near the Burrard Bridge, was closed June 29 because of high counts – anything over 200 E. coli per 100 millilitres of water – while Ambleside in West Vancouver was shut down July 19.
That has prompted some local politicians to take up the fight to clean the water by accelerating improvements to the aging parts of Vancouver’s sewer system.