The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary has received approval from the B.C. Government for its Liquid Waste Management Plan (LWMP), which includes major upgrades planned for the Columbia Pollution Control Centre (CPCC) that provides sewage treatment to the communities of Rossland, Trail, Warfield, as well as Oasis and Rivervale in Electoral Area B / Lower Columbia-Old Glory.
“It’s not often I get to say that I’m excited about sewage, but I really am. This plan has been over a decade in the making, and we just received a very positive approval letter from the Honourable George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. We are more than ready to upgrade our biggest sewage treatment facility in the region for the benefit of 13,000 residents,” said Diane Langman, RDKB Board Chair.
Having an approved LWMP is considered a critical step towards being successful when applying for infrastructure grants.
On February 26, 2020 the RDKB applied for a $46 million grant through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP), Green Infrastructure – Environmental Quality Program to upgrade the CPCC to secondary sewage treatment. The ICIP will fund up to 73 per cent of project costs with local government responsible for the remaining 27 percent. The project will cost a total of $63 million and so the RDKB would pay $17 million through existing reserves if the project is approved for funding. The ICIP will announce approved projects in spring 2021.
The CPCC currently has primary sewage treatment, which does not meet modern standards for wastewater discharge or protection of the Columbia River. The upgraded wastewater treatment plant will significantly improve the quality of the wastewater discharge with the addition of secondary biological treatment and UV disinfection. The facility will also recover and reuse water and heat from effluent as well as incorporate an electric vehicle charging station into building design.
All these improvements will result in less energy and water consumed. In addition, the construction project will inject capital into the region, bringing needed jobs and boosting the local economy.
“My overriding goal right now as chair of the RDKB Utilities Committee is to secure secondary sewage treatment for our local municipalities and rural communities,” said Robert Cacchioni, RDKB Trail Director and Utilities Committee Chair. “I am very thankful to Minister Heyman for approving our plan and I am optimistic that we will see financial support from senior government to fund this critical infrastructure project. The health of our economy, communities, river and ecosystems in this area depends on it.”
The RDKB began their Liquid Waste Management Plan (LWMP) in 2006 to identify appropriate and cost-effective pollution prevention options within the service area of the Columbia Pollution Control System. Stage 1 of the LWMP evaluated options for upgrading or replacing the CPCC and the Province approved it in 2008. Stage 2 was approved in 2017, and confirmed that upgrades to the existing CPCC at its current location in Trail was the most economical and technically viable solution for communities to meet wastewater treatment standards for the next 50 years instead of building a new greenfield plant. Now that the provincial government has approved Stage 3, the RDKB can implement those upgrades pending results of the ICIP grant application to the federal and provincial governments.