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Sewage dumped into Fraser River after fire

Hundreds of thousands of litres of sewage that had yet to undergo secondary treatment was released into the Fraser River following a fire around noon Friday at the Annacis Island Wastewater Treatment Facility.

Bill Morrell, spokesperson for MetroVancouver, (formerly Greater Vancouver Regional District), said a small fire damaged the cogeneration plant that takes methane released by raw sewage and converts it into electricity.

The fire tripped a circuit breaker, and resulted in sewage that had undergone only primary treatment being discharged.

Paul Lam, manager of operations at the plant, estimated less than 400,000 litres of effluent was released in just over 10 minutes.

Unlike the Iona Island Sewage Treatment Plant, which has just a primary treatment system, the Annacis Island facility was converted years ago to include secondary treatment because of its location further upstream.

It was unclear late Friday if the spill would result in any environmental damage.

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