A diver from Vancouver says False Creek has the “nastiest water” in the city.
He went diving in False Creek on February 26 as part of a project with the City of Vancouver and retrieved over 500 pounds of trash from the water.
Wang posted a video on YouTube showing murky footage of underwater shopping carts, a propeller, barnacle-covered furniture, various bike parts, a whole bike, lots of trash, a suitcase, and much more.
“Ew, gross,” he said in the video after emerging from the water. “I can taste False Creek in my mouth.”
They wore drysuits the whole time, but the water quality at False Creek was so bad, Wang could still smell and taste it well after he left.
Nearly two months later, he says he’s “still showering.”
He posted screenshots on Reddit, inviting locals to add their two cents on what’s making the water so disgusting.
Some people say it’s because boaters are flushing their blackwater tanks into the creek.
In addition, the people occupying these boats are abusing the rules of anchoring in False Creek. Most dump human waste into the water. Many are involved in local property theft. Anyone anchoring in False Creek is at risk of having their dingy or outboard engine stolen.
— Common Sense (@NancyGr91770184) January 14, 2022
Others say it’s because the main sewage lines for the area flow into False Creek whenever it rains.
We’ve never seen so many derelict/abandoned boats on False Creek in downtown Vancouver as we saw today — our water taxi captain thinks there are as many as 2 dozen currently! It was actually shocking. One was actually giving off smoke. Not sure who’s jurisdiction @cityofVancouver
— Brent Toderian (@BrentToderian) December 12, 2021
With False Creek at the bottom of the hill, rainwater and sewage flows get mixed up and end up there.
“During periods of high rain, stormwater runoff raises the levels of flow in the combined sewage system above the capacity of the pipes designed to carry flow to the treatment plant. This excess flow during storm events (a mixture of untreated sewage and stormwater) is then released directly into False Creek,” says a report from BC’s Ministry of Environment.
Even if the few dozen boat-dwellers poured raw sewage into False Creek, it’d be a drop in the bucket compared to what @CityofVancouver discharges.
— Rohana Rezel (@rohanarezel) December 21, 2021
The area doesn’t have great drainage either, so a lot of junk gets stuck.
“And then you get gross ass water,” said a Reddit commenter.
Yes people living in boats dumping their raw sewage into the water has contaminated False Creek.
— D.Jones (@DaveJonesWC) December 17, 2021
One person suggests that digging up all the sewer lines in the region and replacing and rerouting them could help — but that could take decades.
Not until the city of Vancouver stops pouring raw sewage into False Creek and marinas are removed. Have to get rid of those large clusters of rarely attended boats. All leaking diesel and using foreshore.
— Michael G (@OilmanHank) March 22, 2022
And waste treatment could clean the water, but that would also take time and cost billions of dollars.
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So for now, don’t swim in False Creek, and if you do, keep your head above water.
Wang often posts videos of his dives on Tiktok, so stay tuned for his next favourite find.