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Metro Vancouver’s Wastewater System



​​Liquid Waste Management Plan Update

Have your say on the future of wastewater management in the region. Share your feedback by July 4!

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​​Our regional wastewater system collects and treats over 1 billion litres of wastewater every day. Wastewater treatment removes materials that can be harmful to human health and the environment.​​​



Metro Vancouver's Liquid Waste System (2:11)Metro Vancouver's Liquid Waste System (2:11)218973147

How our wastewater system w​​orks

Wastewater that we create in our homes, businesses and industries is collected in the municipal sewer system, which then delivers it to the larger regional system. Metro Vancouver operates a region-wide system of sewers and pump stations that carry wastewater to one of the five regional wastewater treatment plants. Treated wastewater is released into the Fraser River or the Salish Sea.

Treated wastewater is tested to check for substances that could affect human health and the environment, and to make s​ure treatment plants are working efficiently and meeting regulations. As part of the treatment process Metro Vancouver recovers resources from wastewater, including heat, electricity, reclaimed water and nutrients in the form of biosolids.

A separate system of stormwater sewers captures rain and melting snow and discharges it directly into the nearest body of water. In some areas of the region, stormwater is also collected in combined sewers, which carry both stormwater and wastewater from buildings. Combined sewers carry wastewater to treatment plants or to outfall pipes that flow into the nearest body of water.

The regional, municipal and household-owned wastewater system includes over 15,000 km of sewers and five wastewater treatment plants. ​​




How Does Our Wastewater System Work?, How Does Our Wastewater System Work? (PDF)How Does Our Wastewater System Work?



Where Does Your Wastewater Go Does Your Wastewater Go

 Related links



Environmental Management and Testing, Environmental Management and TestingEnvironmental Management and Testing
Using Wastewater as a Resource, Using Wastewater as a ResourceUsing Wastewater as a Resource
Wastewater Treatment Plants and Processes, Wastewater Treatment Plants and ProcessesWastewater Treatment Plants and Processes
Reports and Resources, Reports and ResourcesReports and Resources

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