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Sewage dumped in river puts city officials in hot water

May 13, 2015 - 7:32 PM

KAMLOOPS – Not only was there a sewage spill last year, but the city did not let residents know about it.

Residents learned yesterday, May 12, the city dumped two olympic swimming pools worth of sludge into the South Thompson River last year.

“It was a mistake," Public Works Director Jen Fretz says, noting not only was it a mistake the sewage was spilled, but also that the public was not notified.

It was the city’s understanding after alerting the Ministry of the Environment to the spill, the ministry would then contact stakeholders. It was not until much later the city realized the public was not aware of the situation.

Fretz says there is a 'fine line' to tread as to what information is released and what isn’t. The city relied on Interior Health and the ministry to determine what was required.

“This is not allowed to happen,” Fretz says.

The processes that were previously in place were not followed which led to the spillage. She says this is a case of staff negligence. She says those who needed to be held accountable, were but because of confidentially concerns she cannot say who these people are or what action was taken against them.

“We certainly wouldn’t stand for that at all,” Fretz says when asked if the city attempted to cover their mistakes. 

She adds the city has taken numerous steps to ensure nothing like this would happen again.

Fretz says at some point errors occur and hopes residents continue to trust in the city processes.

“We have learned from our mistakes.”

The city has committed $20,000 towards rehabilitation work on Tranquille River to improve fish habitat and another $8,000 towards sewer alarm enhancements as a result of the incident.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Dana Reynolds at or call 250-819-6089. To contact an editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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