A house under renovation is being investigated after pollutants were poured down a storm drain in Port Coquitlam.
And citizen-reporting may be key to the investigation.
The toxic materials, which may have included paint, ended up killing dozens of fish all along Hyde Creek.
Earlier this week, the Tri-City News reported that volunteers from the Hyde Creek Watershed Society spotted the dead fish, which were counted and buried.
The toll included small salmon, as well as rainbow and cutthroat trout, and the source of the pollution appeared to be from a drainage pipe that collects water from the Lincoln Drive neighbourhood.
Residents in the area subsequently contacted the Tri-City News, stating that they saw someone dumping paint down the storm drain.
"I saw a guy pouring white paint down the storm drain a few weeks ago. Another resident in the neighbourhood started yelling at the guy as he was driving by and I witnessed the whole thing," said one woman who reached out.
Another reader said they contacted both the city and the Report All Poachers and Polluters about the mishap, and provided video.
Now, officials are investigating the circumstances to determine what action should be taken on property believed to be responsible for the mess.
In a statement, the City of Port Coquitlam's wrote that action is being considered.
"The dumping of material down the storm drain around Lincoln Avenue and Somerset Street was reported to the RAPP line. City staff are working with the province to determine if the necessary actions have been taken to address the issue," stated the Joshua Frederick, director of engineering and public works.
An education campaign is also planned to inform people about not flushing or pouring materials down a storm drain because of the potential of polluting local creeks.
REPORT CREEK CONTAMINATION QUICKLY
PoCo residents who witness a contaminated creek or stream, chemicals entering the storm drainage system, or materials spilled onto public roadways should report it as soon as possible.
"Rapid reporting ensures that the appropriate response team can be dispatched to investigate, take action, and protect human health and the environment," Frederick further stated.
Information passed on to the public works and engineering department will be followed up on, Frederick asserted.
Here's how to get in touch:
To report environmental emergencies, like if the substance of a spill is unknown, hazardous, or highly toxic and are concerned for safety or the safety of others, dial 911 and ask for Port Coquitlam fire dispatch.
Residents who are unsure of how to dispose of an item such as paint, are encouraged to visit the city's Sort it Right webpage or email the city ambassadors to learn where different items can be taken for disposal at firstname.lastname@example.org
Meanwhile, the Hyde Creek Watershed Society is in need of more volunteers. Find out more here.