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Removal Recommendations for Flood Prevention Sandbags

June 22nd, 2017

The Provincial Regional Emergency Operation Centre (PREOC) is leading the Province’s recovery actions.

The Emergency Management BC’s (EMBC) Interim Provincial of Sandbags Policy, which was distributed to Local Governments (includes local authorities, First Nation communities and their respective Band Councils) on June 17 provides the following information:

  • For the 2017 Runoff Season, sandbag disposal will be considered a Local Government response activity;
  • For the 2017 Runoff Season, the Province will reimburse local government’s (LG) for costs related to the removal and disposal of sandbags as a response activity;
  • Sandbags should be disposed of as directed by the local governments.
  • General guidelines to supplement LG directions for the disposal of sandbags are provided including:
    • In accordance with the Water Sustainability Act (WSA), sand from sandbags (including uncontaminated sand) must not be placed directly into, or adjacent to, streams, lakes, ponds, rivers, creeks, springs, ravings, gulches, wetlands or glaciers (whether or not they contain water or ice);
    • LGs may contact the appropriate FLNRO Regional Operations Office to obtain more information about interpretation of the WSA.
  • In addition, the Advanced Planning Unit of PREOC is distributing Okanagan Basin habitat maps for lake edge kokanee, rocky mountain ridge mussels & painted turtle to aid recovery operation avoidance of these area (minimize site disturbance) as Agencies send in requests.


The Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO) is currently providing the following information. The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen (RDOS) is distributing similar details. It appears that most local governments are organizing removal of sandbags from public and private lands within their jurisdictions at no cost to residences and that these costs will be covered by the Province. Both reiterate the Provincial Policy that sandbags are not to be emptied on beaches or in streams.