Sani-dump proposed for Powerhouse Road after tourism operators complain of lost opportunity, illegal dumping

Revelstoke city staff are recommending a year-round public sani-dump be constructed on municipal property on Powerhouse Road.

A sign indicating a sani-dump. Photo: file

The Revelstoke tourism sector is raising concerns that a lack of a public sani-dump in Revelstoke is hurting tourism and creating environmental problems.

A sani-dump facility allows RV and trailer owners to dump their shower and toilet waste and refill their water tanks.

The city has been without a public sani-dump since the previous one was removed during construction of the Victoria/Mutas intersection project.

A report to Revelstoke city council is recommending construction of a year-round sani-dump on municipal property at 1625 Powerhouse Road. The project will cost $120,000. Funding has been pencilled in the city’s 2018 capital budget.

An image outlining the possible location of a year-round sani-dump adjacent to Powerhouse Road. Image: City of Revelstoke

In a report to council, city engineering director Mike Thomas presents options for the sani-dump. “Council could decide not to provide public sani-dump service. This is not a required service for municipalities. However, without a public sani-dump available year round many recreation vehicle users may choose not to stay in Revelstoke or alternatively dump their sanitary waste illegally.”

The Revelstoke Information Centre has also heard stories of people illegally dumping their sani-waste.

“I’ve heard awful stories from people,” Guylaine St-Gelais, tourism centre manager, said in an interview with the Mountaineer.

St-Gelais wrote a letter to city council on behalf of See Revelstoke, the Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Revelstoke outlining concerns related to the lack of a public sani-dump station.

“Some of the more shocking complaints we received are that RV drivers have opted to dump in or around Revelstoke by backing up to ditches or simply opening their valves while driving,” wrote St-Gelais.

St-Gelais said there is an increasing demand for sani-dump use in the winter months, as well as in the summer. In her letter, St-Gelais noted that they had received a number of requests for sani-dump use in early December.

St-Gelais also said that in the summer months many RVs are bypassing Revelstoke because the only other sani-dump, located at the Frontier Motel, is often at capacity. With no sani-dump available many RVers choose to drive straight through Revelstoke.

“It’s a small portion of business they’re bringing into town. They stop to get gas and use the sani-dump and maybe they think, ‘Let’s stop for the day, or let’s go check out the town,’ and then they decide to stay for a night or two,” said St-Gelais.

Tourism and an increasing need for a sani-dump station during the winter months were also brought up in a letter submitted to council by the Economic Development Commission.

“We are a Resort Municipality and a tourist destination for thousands of people each year and as such tourism has become a major driver of our economy,” Roberta Bobicki, chair of the Economic Development Commission said in the letter.

Revelstoke city council will discuss options for the construction of a year-round public sani-dump at its first meeting of 2018 on Tuesday, Jan. 9.