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$500 fines for washing paint down storm drain

Port Coquitlam says fines were paid and culprits learned their lesson
Hyde Creek
Sludge poured into Hyde Creek in November and the city believes they caught the culprits, and levied them with a $500 fine.

Washing paint down a catch basin that drains into Hyde Creek has resulted in costly fines for a Port Coquitlam homeowner and their painter.

Two fines of $500 for polluting a watercourse were issued after city officials spotted someone washing paint into a catch basin at the end of the work day.

The surveillance was conducted after members of the Hyde Creek Watershed Society noticed a substance in the creek, which is home to spawning salmon and other wildlife.

Bob Bell, PoCo's section manager of streets, earlier told The Tri-City News that he and his staff went upstream and discovered a home being renovated that had a portable toilet outside. The spills seemed to be occurring at the end of the work day so the staff staked the home out after hours.

“Just like clockwork, there it was,” said Bell, who praised his staff for discovering the source of the spills. 

“One of our staff went to the back lane to see over the fence and saw them washing [contaminants] into the catch basin. We went to the front of the house and told them to stop and let them know the damage they’d caused in the last little while.

“I’m thankful we found it.”

A city spokesperson confirmed that the fines were issued to the home owner and to the friend who did the painting.

“Both fines were paid and both individuals understood the severity of their actions,” Pardeep Purewal, the city’s manager of communication, stated in an email.