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Harrison Hot Springs crew quick to fix sewer main leak spilling into Miami River

Utility workers commended for fast response
What appears to be raw sewage leaked into the Miami River late last week. Harrison Hot Springs utility workers acted fast to prevent damage to the river. The leak was caused by the McCombs Drive bridge settling onto the pipe. (Photo/Pearson Ecological)

A village crew in Harrison Hot Springs acted quickly to stop a sewer main leak over the Easter weekend.

The leak was reported late last week, and the village and Miami River Streamkeepers Society (MRSS) were quick to act. The pipe reportedly ruptured after the bridge over the Miami Creek settled onto it.

Staff from Pearson Ecological was in the area monitoring the Salish sucker – a very rare fish found in only 10 streams across Canada, including Harrison’s own Miami River. The training session also yielded a few juvenile Coho salmon.

RELATED: Two endangered species found during local environmental monitoring: Report

In a social media post posted Thursday, April 6, Pearson Ecological said staff “encountered a pipe spewing what certainly smells like raw sewage from under the McCombs Road bridge.”

The MRSS complimented the village’s swift action on social media.

“Excellent work. Thank you so much,” the organization wrote on the village’s social media page. “The Miami River Streamkeepers Society and the fish really appreciate your quick response.”

Founded in 2001, Agassiz-based Pearson Ecological specializes in freshwater fish, at-risk species and aquatic habitat restoration across the Fraser Valley

In addition to being home to the rare Salish sucker, the Miami River is home to a number of ecologically important species, including the Oregon spotted frog. This frog made headlines for the past few years as egg masses from the endangered frog have been discovered in local waterways, including the Maria Slough in the Seabird Island First Nation community. Area conservationists have been working for more than a decade to restore shallow, marshy habitats and help bring back the species.

RELATED: What are those little yellow fish? Miami River Streamkeepers can answer

The Salish sucker was one of many subjects of concern in recent years when local activists opposed a proposed quarry set to be created on Hot Springs Road. There were worries that mining would harm the elusive fish, among a long list of other concerns. In December 2020, the provincial senior inspector of mines denied a Mines Act permit to the quarry operators, stopping the quarry progress for good.

After-hours utilities and public works emergencies in Harrison Hot Springs can be called in by dialing 1-866-924-5173.


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