Implementing Rainwater Management in Coquitlam: New Stream and Drainage System Protection Bylaw


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Coquitlam Implements New Stream & Drainage System Protection Bylaw

In September 2013 the City overhauled its Stream and Drainage System Protection Bylaw. In addition to general prohibitions regarding the City’s waterways and drainage system, the new Bylaw also regulates erosion and sediment control issues related to construction sites in Coquitlam.

“The changes provide for better accountability by developers and a broader range of enforcement tools for City staff,” explains Steffanie Warriner, Manager of Environmental Services.

Steffanie Warriner_120p“The new strategy promotes a practical and proactive approach to erosion and sediment control that includes updated discharge criteria, clear roles and responsibilities, and mandatory best management practices.   These changes were necessary to counter the erosion and sediment issues we were experiencing, especially in sensitive areas with substantial construction,” she adds.

New Environmental Bylaw Officer positions have been added to work with developers and builders in achieving compliance.

The Bylaw applies to all development sites where activities are occurring that result in the disturbance of soil.

Key Changes

The new Bylaw includes the following key changes:

  1. New Sediment Discharge Criteria.  Water discharging from a site during normal weather conditions cannot be more than 25 NTU. Water discharging from a site during and 24 hours after a significant rainfall event (25mm/24 hours or greater) may not exceed 100 NTU.
  2. Administrative Requirements.  Requirements for all developments now include a combination of ESC Submission forms, while requirements for developments other than Single Family/Duplex also include an ESC Plan, retaining an ESC Supervisor, attending a pre-construction meeting with City staff and providing appropriate site signage.
  3. Fees & Security.  Application fees for Single Family/Duplex developments have been set at $200. For all other developments, the Administration and Inspection Fee is based on the Subdivision and Development Servicing Bylaw, as well as a security deposit in the value of 110% of a certified cost estimate.
  4. Monitoring/Reporting Requirements.  The ESC Supervisor is responsible for ensuring the implementation of the ESC measures according to the ESC plan, along with inspections, monitoring and maintenance. Two days prior to forecasted significant rainfall events, the ESC Supervisor must hold an onsite meeting to inspect /repair ESC facilities and record actions on a form. Monitoring is to be carried out weekly in the wet season, bi-weekly in the dry season, with reporting biweekly in the wet season and monthly in the dry season. Reports are also required during and within 24 hours of a significant rainfall event.
  5. Wider Range of Enforcement Options for the City.  These include requirements for site discharge, ESC Plan components, providing submission forms, posting signage, appointing an ESC Supervisor, following stop-work orders and installing, maintaining and monitoring ESC facilities.

To Learn More:

To download a copy of the Bylaw, click on Stream and Drainage System Protection Bylaw (No. 4403, 2013)

To download an overview presentation by Steffanie Warriner in November 2013, click on Presentation to Erosion Sediment Control Association Annual Conference.

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