UBC Undergraduate Research

Creosote-treated pilings in the marine and freshwater environments of Metro Vancouver : risks, financial impacts, and alternatives Younie, Tamara


The goal of this report is to investigate the use of creosote-treated pilings by considering policies practiced elsewhere, risks and financial impacts of removal, and potential alternatives to creosote-treated piles. By completing a literature review and a series of interviews, the following conclusions and recommendations were proposed: • The use of creosote should be phased out in the marine and freshwater environments of Metro Vancouver • Environmentally friendlier alternatives should be used, wherever possible • Alternatives are generally more expensive, yet may be cost effective when considering long-term use and number of pilings required • In some situations there may be no alternatives to treated-wood pilings • Existing pilings should be covered in order to prevent leaching if in vulnerable environments such as freshwater environments, areas with limited water flow, or areas with large concentrations of creosote-treated pilings • Removal of pilings can be detrimental to the environment and disposal of contaminated materials can be expensive • Due to lack of alternatives that are both environmentally friendly and economically feasible, further research needs to consider other viable options

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