The deliberate dumping of septic tank waste into a stormwater drain recently caused the cancellation of a popular swimming festival in Esquimalt, British Columbia. Festival organizers were expecting hundreds of attendees.

Jeff Miller, the municipality’s director of engineering and public works, says it wasn’t a small amount of sewage. “In my time, coming up on eight years, this is the first time something of this nature has happened,” Miller told the Times Colonist.

Shortly after the event's cancellation, Miller told the newspaper he couldn’t exactly quantify the amount of sewage that was dumped, but he asserted that it may have been contained by a vacuum truck or a very large motor home.

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Tests of water samples from the swimming festival's planned location found fecal coliform and E. coli.

Swim Fest president Jim Meredith told the Times Colonist he and others noticed a bad odor emanating from the creek, and they canceled the festival as a precaution.

Later, tests confirmed the presence of a disinfecting chemical, which suggests the waste came from a truck that cleans septic tanks.

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“I would think they would know better, but for whatever reason chose not to pursue the proper course,” Miller told CBC News.

Sources: Times Colonist and CBC News

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