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Sewage leak won’t halt Vancouver Dragon Boat Festival

Leak under Olympic Village resulted in raw sewage gushing through neighbourhood into False Creek
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Competitors line up at the start line during the Dragon Boat Festival on False Creek in Vancouver, on Sunday June 22, 2014. Organizers of this weekend’s Dragon Boat Festival in Vancouver say a sewage leak into False Creek where the races are held won’t have a major effect on the event. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Organizers of this weekend’s Dragon Boat Festival in Vancouver say a sewage leak into False Creek where the races are held won’t have a major effect on the event.

The leak from a pipe under Olympic Village resulted in raw sewage gushing through the neighbourhood, then pouring into the waterway.

Dragon Boat BC says in a statement that it determined the “pipe break” would not have any significant impact on the races, after consultations with Metro Vancouver, the City of Vancouver and Vancouver Coastal Health.

Lorn Carter, a manager of sewer collections with Metro Vancouver, told a news conference that the leak had been stopped and workers were cleaning up the mess.

Carter says his team responded to the site at about 8 a.m. and soon managed to isolate the problem pipe.

Organizers of the annual festival that attracts tens of thousands of spectators and racers say there will be hand-wash stations and mobile showers “to help put racer’s minds at ease” about the leak.

The Dragon Boat Festival’s Dominic Lai says they are delighted North America’s biggest event marking the traditional Chinese holiday will continue as planned.

“Obviously, this isn’t something that we hope ever happens. But when it does, it’s really good to see all the different departments coming together to provide that support and to ensure that we can celebrate our community together,” Lai said at Thursday’s news conference.

Carter said the volume of the sewage leak was unclear.

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