Waste Water Collection

How it all flows...

Sewer flow peaks around 7:30 a.m. and again between 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. From your home, waste water flows into a network of sewer pipes to a lift station and then to the  Waste Water Treatment Plant.

Source Control

The waste water collection system comprises of hundreds of kilometres of pipe designed to flow water and dissolvable solids. It is not designed as part of the garbage collection process. The introduction of anything more than human waste causes strain on the infrastructure and increased costs to treat and remove the material. Through public education, the District is working to reduce the most damaging products that enter the sanitary sewer.

TOP 7 ITEMS THAT SHOULD NEVER ENTER THE WASTE WATER SYSTEM:

  1. Grease: This is the most damaging of all because it quickly builds up on the inside of the pipe reducing flow and binding with other products which then can cause major plugs.
  2. Diapers: Diapers are very heavy when wet and do not break down in water. They contain plastic and woven material that gets caught on fittings and impurities in the pipe causing blockages. Diapers have to be removed before they enter the waste water treatment plant which reduces efficiency and increases costs.
  3. Feminine Products: These products contain a lot of plastic and the fibers are slow to break down. Like diapers, feminine products have to be removed mechanically to prevent them from entering the waste water treatment plant.
  4. Garburator material: While these are convenient for homeowners, garburators are very bad for the waste water system. Grinding up materials and flushing it down the drain uses excessive water and the ground-up material has to be removed from the treated water before it returns to the environment. Please compost instead via the District's organics curbside collection.
  5. Industrial waste: As per District of Squamish bylaw 401, no-one is to introduce liquid waste from industrial manufacturing processes, including gasoline, benzene, naptha, fuel oil, or other flammable or explosive liquid;  waters or wastes that contain toxic or poisonous liquids, solids, or gases; or water or wastes with a pH lower than 5.5. If you are unsure, please call District Operations at 604-815-6868 to advise you.
  6. Wipes: Although many products such as baby/kid wipes, adult wipes or cleaning wipes are advertised as being “flushable”, in reality wipes can cause severe problems to private waste water drainpipes, municipal sewer systems and waste water treatment plants. The products do not break down completely and while they are convenient, they have to be mechanically removed from the treated water before it can be returned to the environment.  Manufacturers of “flushable” wipes are currently facing litigation for misrepresenting their products in the United States.
  7. Pharmaceutical drugs: While they don't necessarily clog our system, expired, unwanted or unused pharmaceutical drugs are not fully removed by conventional wastewater treatment systems and end up in the waterways and are harmful to the environment. Please return expired, unwanted or unused pharmaceutical drugs to the pharmacy for proper disposal. DO NOT flush these down the toilet or drain. 

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Lift Stations

While gravity moves waste water through the pipes most of the way, there are 22 lift stations around Squamish that pump waste water to a higher level so gravity can take it the rest of the way to the Waste Water Treatment Plant. All stations are monitored both remotely and visually on a daily schedule to ensure continuous and long life operation.