Sewage hauler ready for legal battle with PRRD

The owner of a Fort St. John sewage hauling firm says she’s ready for a legal battle with the Peace River Regional District (PRRD) over the company’s use of a third-party site to dump into the Charlie Lake Sewer system. 

On Sept. 8, the regional district board moved to begin legal action against sewage hauler Nor Vac Services, for dumping waste in the Charlie Lake sewer system at a residential connection instead of at its commercial sewage transfer station.  

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The board gave the company five days to cease and desist before it commences legal proceedings at the B.C. Supreme Court. 

But Nor Vac owner Carol Kube said her company had no plan to cease and desist. 

She hopes pursuing the matter to court will help prove a point about what she says are a patchwork of rules for sewage haulers in the regional district. 

“By threatening me with Supreme Court, they’re not scaring me,” she said. “I don’t think the PRRD has any intention of making sure everybody has to comply with the bylaws. Why does Company A have to comply, Company B and C don’t, Company D does, and Company F does on Saturdays on Sundays?” 

She said the company plans to continue dumping into the system at a property in the 12000 block of the Charlie Lake Frontage Road, which the regional district identifies as a residential sewage connection. 

According to PRRD staff, Nor Vac wasn’t breaking any existing rules when it dumped sewage into the system at the residential hookup. However, the district moved last month to update its bylaws to prohibit what Nor Vac was doing, saying it put them at risk of fines from the province and health authority. 

Kube said Nor Vac hauls mostly residential sewage from septic tanks—not waste from worker camps or other industrial sites. 

According to PRRD documents, the Northern Health Authority “conducted an inspection of the facility and reported to the PRRD that vacuum trucks belonging to Nor Vac Services were unloading into storage tanks inside a tarp-covered building.” The sewage was separated, with the remaining effluent discharged into the Charlie Lake Sewer system. Kube maintained that the property is in fact zoned commercial. 

Kube said the company would cease and desist and dump at the commercial sewage receiving facility if the board addressed a number of concerns, including other companies that she claimed were dumping in sewage lagoons behind the Charlie Lake school. 

Legal proceedings had not commenced as of Sept. 9, based on a search of court records. The regional district would seek both costs and lost revenues from the defendant, according to the Sept 8. resolution.

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