The governments of Canada and British Columbia and the Capital Regional District (CRD) have announced funding for the construction of a new wastewater treatment system for the region. This project will reduce marine pollution by improving the quality of municipal wastewater discharged into the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

The new system, known as the Core Area Wastewater Treatment Program (CAWTP), will consist of three projects: the construction of the McLoughlin Wastewater Treatment Plant and Marine Outfall, a biosolids energy centre, and conveyance system upgrades. The total capital cost of the CAWTP is estimated to be $782.7 million. The total proposed federal contribution will be up to $253.4 million, the total provincial contribution is a maximum of $248 million, and the CRD will provide the balance, estimated at close to $281.3 million. The Biosolids Energy Centre portion of the Program will be delivered through a public-private partnership (P3), with support from the P3 Canada Fund. As a P3, the CRD will be able to harness private sector innovation and ensure the best possible value for taxpayers’ money.

Once completed, the CAWTP will improve the level of wastewater treatment, as well as reduce the volume and incidents of untreated wastewater discharge as a result of sewer overflows. The new facilities will be designed to satisfy British Columbia’s Wastewater Regulation and the proposed federal Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations.

Federal funding for McLoughlin Wastewater Treatment Plant and Marine Outfall, and Conveyance System Upgrades is conditional on Treasury Board approval and the signing of the contribution agreements. The project must also meet all the terms and conditions of federal infrastructure programs, as well as respect any applicable legal obligations, including those related to aboriginal consultation and environmental assessment. The Biosolids Energy Centre meets the Terms and Conditions of the P3 Canada Fund and is eligible under the wastewater infrastructure category.

RELATED ARTICLE: “Sea Change,” November/December 2010

Photo: Hélene Cyr


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