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.

Rainfall Monitoring

With the introduction of Coquitlam’s  Stream and Drainage System Protection Bylaw (No. 4403, 2013) in September of 2013, the City of Coquitlam has installed a data logger for rainfall monitoring in the northeast section of Coquitlam. This valuable tool will give all developers, builders, environmental monitors and the general public real time information about the amount of rain collected.

The City of Coquitlam will be monitoring the data collected for the purposes of ensuring that all builders and contractors working in the neighborhood have up to date information and that all relevant criteria in the new Bylaw will be followed to protect all watercourses in the northeast area of Coquitlam.

Coquitlam Rain Gauge

The Government of Canada also has Daily Climate Station Data from their gauge  located on Como Lake Avenue in Coquitlam (note this is not a real time logger and usually is updated every 24-48 hours)

Erosion and Sediment Control

Storm water runoff from construction sites can erode disturbed soils, carry them off-site and contribute significant amounts of sediment (soil) to the surrounding environment. Erosion and sediment control (ESC) techniques are important to maintaining a clean, healthy waterway ecosystem and supporting aquatic wildlife.

In an effort to protect and enhance the integrity of Coquitlam’s drainage system and aquatic environments, including our creeks and rivers, the City of Coquitlam has adopted sustainable development practices for all construction activities.

In September 2013, the City adopted a new Stream and Drainage System Protection Bylaw (No. 4403, 2013) to strengthen the City’s regulations for addressing erosion and sediment control (ESC) issues related to poor construction practices.  Development permits approved on or after September 9, 2013 will adhere to the new Stream and Drainage System Protection Bylaw (No. 4403, 2013) in its entirety.  Development permits that were approved prior to September 9, 2013 will follow the former Stream and Drainage System Protection Bylaw (No. 3447, 2001), except the sections which pertain to “Prohibition of Discharge”.  All sites and permits must adhere to section 3 of the new Bylaw (No. 4403, 2013) which outlines the new “Prohibition of Discharge” requirements regardless of when the permit was issued.

The new Bylaw includes the following key changes:

1. New Sediment Discharge Criteria.  Water discharging from a site during normal weather conditions cannot be more than 25 NTU. Water discharging from a site during and 24 hours after a significant rainfall event (25mm/24 hours or greater) may not exceed 100 NTU.

2. Administrative Requirements.  Requirements for all developments now include ESC Submission forms and developments other than Single Family/Duplex also include an ESC Plan, retaining an ESC Supervisor, attending a pre-construction meeting with City staff and providing appropriate site signage (see Schedules “A”, “B” and “C” in the bylaw).

3. Fees & Security.  Application fees for Single Family/Duplex developments have been set at $200. For all other developments, the Administration and Inspection Fee is based on the Subdivision and Development Servicing Bylaw, as well as a security deposit in the value of 110% of a certified cost estimate.

4. Monitoring/Reporting Requirements.  The ESC Supervisor is responsible for ensuring the implementation of the ESC measures according to the ESC plan, along with inspections, monitoring and maintenance. Two days prior to forecasted significant rainfall events, the ESC Supervisor must hold an onsite meeting to inspect /repair ESC facilities and record actions on a form. In the wet season, monitoring is to be carried out weekly with bi-weekly reporting. In the dry season, monitoring is biweekly with monthly reporting. Reports are also required within seven days of a significant rainfall event.

Reports are to be submitted to ESCReports@coquitlam.ca

5. Wider Range of Enforcement Options for the City.  These include requirements for site discharge, ESC Plan components, providing submission forms, posting signage, appointing an ESC Supervisor, following stop-work orders and installing, maintaining and monitoring ESC facilities.

The Bylaw applies to all development sites where activities are occurring that result in the disturbance of soil. Specific submission requirements for ESC were developed under this Bylaw for the following two development streams:

    1. Single Family and Duplex Building Permit Applications; and
    2. All other developments.

The following table summarizes the forms and guidelines that apply to each of these development types:

Form/Guideline  Single Family/Duplex Residential All Other

ESC Submission Form:
Single Family and Duplex Building
All Other Developments
For Demolitions

Pre-Development Approval Form  

ESC Advisory Signage Requirement  

Erosion & Sediment Control Daily Site Inspection Checklist  

Erosion & Sediment Control Site Monitoring Report Template  

Significant Rainfall Event Planning Checklist  

Both Single Family/Duplex developments and all other developments must implement certain mandatory ESC facilities. Information on these mandatory ESC facilities as well as a number of other best management practices are contained in the City publications, Erosion and Sediment Control Best Management Practices and Erosion and Sediment Control (ESC) at Residential Building Construction Sites.

Related Documents

Best Management Practices

Expand all

  • 1. Clean Water Management

  • 2. Access/Egress Controls

  • 3. Perimeter Control Measures

  • 4. Onsite Water Management

  • 5. Storm Inlet Protection

  • 6. Disturbed Surfaces Protection (Erosion Control)

  • 7. Paved Road Surfaces Sweeping/Maintenance

Watershed Management

Coquitlam River Water Quality Monitoring

The City of Coquitlam has begun water quality monitoring of the Coquitlam River to help build a reliable and current database of water quality information. The resultant data will be a huge tool to inform the community about the watershed's health in its urban environment.

The program involves a series of sampling days at seven locations along the length of the Coquitlam River. Sampling will take place throughout the year, capturing data from both dry and wet season conditions. The tests were selected on the basis of their importance to fisheries values and as indicators of healthy streams.

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.

Another watershed project includes compiling a repository of information on the activities that the many different groups within the Coquitlam River watershed have been involved in as they relate to gathering data or restoring habitat along the River. These groups include: Streamkeepers, BC Hydro, Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Metro Vancouver and representatives of the aggregate industry. 

Committees and Stewardship

Coquitlam River Aggregate Committee

The mandate of the Coquitlam River Aggregate Committee is to continue to monitor responsibility by all levels of government, the aggregate mining industry and other stakeholders to remedy the impacts of aggregate mining and to help improve the health of the Coquitlam River. 

Coquitlam River Watershed Roundtable

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 will be an independent entity, not under government direction.

The Roundtable is guided by a Core Committee, representing the many watershed sectors of interest. Given adequate resources, public Roundtable meetings will be held at least twice each calendar year: spring and fall.

The types of activities the Roundtable undertakes, given adequate resources, include coordinating monitoring efforts, participating in the preparation of a plan for the watershed, sponsoring educational events, or working towards consensus on issues that affect the watershed.

The Roundtable is gratefully supported by the cash and in-kind resources provided by the Fraser Salmon and Watersheds Program, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Cities of Port Coquitlam and Coquitlam, and Kwikwetlem First Nation.

Coquitlam River Watershed RoundtableEmail: info@coquitlamriverwatershed.ca
Website: www.coquitlamriverwatershed.ca

Engineering & Public Works Customer Service

24 Hours a Day, 7 Days a Week

Phone: 604-927-3500

Please Note: The Engineering Customer Service email is only monitored during regular business hours. Please call if you have an emergency.

Email: epw@coquitlam.ca

3000 Guildford Way, Coquitlam, BC, V3B 7N2