Gung Haggis dragon boat team cancels practice due to coliform count in False Creek, rescheduled for Thursday

The most recent coliform count in False Creek is playing havoc with dragon boat team practices. 

On Tuesday, GVRD team had to cancel early in the day due to low turnout.  Gung Haggis team only had 5 team members show up.  Eye of the Dragon also decided to cancel practice due to low turnout, and water contamination.

We are going to join Gayle’s G-Force dragon boat team for a practice on Thursday meet 5:40pm  – boat leaves at 6pm.  Call if you have to be late.

Tuesday’s practice had to be canceled because of low paddler turnout.  We only had Gayle, Stuart, Tony, Dave & myself turn up.  We understand that people are concerned about the coliform count in the water… but if we don’t go on the water – we will do other team activities.

We also had 3 guest paddlers from South Carolina visiting with their grandparents in Vancouver – They are competitive rowers and really really want to try dragon boat paddling. 

Alas 8 paddlers minus a steers person does not meet the safety  standards to take out a dragon boat.so Gayle invited everybody to come back on THURSDAY for a 5:40pm practice.

According to Coastal Health, the water will be swimmable by the end of this week.  Paddling should be fine. Yesterday I  talked with Mr. Losito at Coastal Health.  He says that False Creek water is presently 5 times above permisable levels for swimming.

He recommends checking the website: http://www.vch.ca/environmental/docs/water/recreationalwaterquality_falsecr.pdf

The million+ tons of sewage came through the Terminal sewage outflow, due to changes from Burrard system.  They are re-routing some of the sewage because of Columbia St. construction for Olympic Village.

He says that the two incidents this summer are very unusual.

He says regular sewage overflow after a rainstorm is usually heavily diluted with rainwater
He says infections from virus such as Hepatitis would be unlikely, because virus have short life span in salt water. He says that the only health implications would be gastro-instestinal.

He says East Basin of False Creek is a pollution problem because of the lack of water flow – mostly due to the blockage caused by the Cambie Bridge. The “Island” also contributes to flow blockage. 

Vancouver Coastal Health is working on a better alert system for when pollution issues occur within the False Creek area.  Here is a link to the CBC article –
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2008/08/06/bc-false-creek-water.html.

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