Watercourse Protection

There are many kilometers of creeks, streams and rivers stretching across Coquitlam. Protecting these watercourses is important as they offer valuable services such as providing habitat for many aquatic plants and animals. The City coordinates a variety of watercourse enhancement initiatives, implements monitoring programs and supports legislation to protect our watercourses.

Help Protect Fish and Aquatic Life

Did you know that storm drains – and anything poured into them – empty directly into local creeks and streams? 

Pool and cleaning chemicals, pesticides, paint, solvents, oil and other toxins require careful disposal.

Using storm drains to dispose of these and other toxins is not only harmful to fish and other wildlife – killing thousands of fish in local waterways in recent years – but could lead to penalties under the City’s Stream and Drainage System Protection Bylaw and from provincial and federal authorities.

How to Properly Dispose of Chemicals

Residents and property owners are responsible for properly disposing of hazardous materials. Use Coquitlam’s Waste Wizard or visit the Recycling Council of BC to search for safe disposal locations.

Ways to Help at Home

  • Wash cars on the lawn or at a car wash to prevent soapy water from entering the storm drain;
  • Do not use pesticides on your lawn or gardens; 
  • Fix oil and transmission leaks and recycle all used oil and antifreeze (check Waste Wizard for recycling and disposal options);
  • Sweep walkways and driveways – hosing them down washes litter, oil and pollutants into storm drains;
  • Never drain hot tub or swimming pool water or chemicals into storm drains – search the Recycling Council of BC for disposal options;
  • During home renovation and construction projects, keep dirt, paint and wet concrete away from storm drains and streams; and
  • Keep pets away from streams – animal waste is polluting, and pets can erode streambanks, cause siltation and disturb fish and wildlife.

See below for other ways to help.

Report a Spill or Pollution

If you witness a contaminated creek or stream, chemicals entering the storm drainage system, or materials spilled onto public roadways, please 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.

City of Coquitlam Engineering & Public Works:

  • 604-927-3500 (monitored 24/7)
  • Email (monitored 24/7) 

To report environmental emergencies, such as the spill of an unknown, hazardous, or highly-toxic substance that gives you immediate concern for your safety and the safety of others, call Coquitlam Fire & Rescue at 604-927-6400 or dial 9-1-1 and ask for Coquitlam Fire Dispatch and say that you are reporting a spill.

‘Only rain goes down the drain!’

Integrated Watershed Management

For all urban watersheds, Coquitlam is developing Integrated Watershed Management Plans (IWMP) to preserve watershed health, while also meeting community needs and facilitating growth and development. IWMP’s use a Net Environmental Benefit approach that strives to improve fish and fish habitat.

Committees and Stewardship

  1. Coquitlam River Watershed Roundtable
  2. Storm Drain Marking Program
  3. Volunteering

The Coquitlam River Watershed Roundtable is a collaborative body that coordinates and implements activities which promote the long-term sustainability of the watershed, based on the agreed-to values and vision of the watershed. The formation of the Roundtable was the successful outcome of a multi-phase, five year watershed planning process aimed at improving collaboration and problem-solving among the many stakeholders in the watershed.

The Roundtable does not have authority to make decisions that are the jurisdictional or legislative responsibility of governments or the legal responsibility of any other entity that is participating in the Roundtable. Governments and government agencies will participate, but the Roundtable is an independent entity, not under government direction.

The Roundtable is guided by a Core Committee, representing the diverse sectors of interest in the watershed. Given adequate resources, Community Roundtable meetings are held once or twice a year to allow the participation of anyone in the public who supports the Roundtable’s mission.

The types of activities the Roundtable undertakes, given adequate resources, include coordinating monitoring efforts, implementing the Lower Coquitlam River Watershed Plan, sponsoring educational events, or working towards consensus on issues that affect the watershed.

For more information on the Coquitlam River Watershed Roundtable:

Email the Coquitlam River Watershed