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Water Pollution

Storm drain with yellow fish marker.

In urban environments, catch basins (or storm drains) collect water runoff from roads, parking lots and industrial developments. This water flows directly into Surrey streams untreated.

This runoff is untreated and often contains harmful contaminants that can damage fish and their habitats. The yellow fish you see painted by these storm drains reminds us that we put only rain down the storm drain.

Report Water Pollution

If you witness a spill, chemicals being washed into a storm water drain, or a contaminated stream, contact the City of Surrey Engineering Department at 604-591-4152 or report a non-emergency problem online.  Or you can also call:

Types of Pollution to Surrey's Waterways

There are 2 types of pollution to Surrey's waterways:

  • Point source, from a single identifiable source like a factory, waste water treatment plant or some other facility. Most of the current federal, provincial and municipal regulations are regarding these types of pollution sources.
  • Non-point source pollution, from multiple or unidentifiable sources. This includes stormwater runoff from roadways, parking lots, lawns and agricultural fields. This runoff can include oils, soap, animal or human waste, sediment and fertilizers.


City staff work with Federal and Provincial staff on:

  • pollution investigations,
  • tracking spills,
  • testing water quality and
  • charging offenders.

Storm drains carry uncontaminated rainwater to the nearest natural body of water. Foreign substances like cleaning products, automotive fluids, fertilizers, paints, solvents, pool and hot tub water, and even loose soil can kill fish, insect and plant life when dumped into these drains.

Learn more from the Environmental Emergency Management Program  and Environment Canada Environmental emergencies . Then, review regulations and legislation to prevent water pollution in the

Avoiding Water Pollution at your Business

See Surrey's brochures on best management practices for industries that are the common causes of point or non-point source pollution.

Pass them on to local businesses that you encounter to spread the word about stream protection. All files are in PDF format and will open in new windows.