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Homeowner fined $500 for dumping paint into Coquitlam storm drain

This is a reminder not to dump anything into a municipal catch basin. As water flows into Hoy Creek, fish and other creatures could be killed.
Summer 2022 paint spill in Hoy Creek Coquitlam
Hoy Creek turned a milky white when someone dumped paint down a storm drain on Aug. 16 and Sept. 8.

Dumping paint down a city storm drain is a no-no and can cost you big time.

At least that's what a Coquitlam resident learned after they were fined $500 and made to pay fees for a vacuum truck that was called to clean out a municipal catch basin near their house.

Concerns arose when a milky white substance was found in Hoy Creek near Walton Avenue on Sept. 8.

Officials were called and the source of the paint was traced to a home where someone was painting the exterior of their house, according to Coquitlam's environment manager Caresse Selk.

It was the second of two dumps into a catch basin in the area.

On Aug. 16, a report was made that the creek near Walton Ave was running "white and cloudy"; however, the source of the spill was never found although it was believed to be paint.

Crews installed booms to catch the substance, but some of it sunk to the bottom of the creek, according to the Hoy/Scott Watershed Society (HWSS).

Fortunately, there were no fish deaths reported by the society.

Still, the near-miss is a sharp reminder not to dump chemical liquids down storm drains, said HWSS volunteers who issued a reminder on its webpage.

"The society would like to remind Coquitlam residents that storm drains lead directly to our waterways, and everyone should exercise caution when disposing of pollutants, which include chemicals used for cleaning hot tubs and pools, etc. Nothing but rainwater should go down storm drains."