The Capital Regional District, alongside the Government of Canada and the Province of BC, has announced that the new wastewater treatment plant is now in operation.
In a press release issued on Tuesday, the Capital Regional District (CRD) said that not only is the new Wastewater Treatment Project now operating, but it is also exceeding regulatory requirements.
The new treatment plant provides wastewater treatment for the core area municipalities of Victoria, Esquimalt, Saanich, Oak Bay, View Royal, Colwood and Langford and the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations.
According to the CRD, the project totalled $775-million and took approximately four years to build after being approved back in 2016.
The Wastewater Treatment Project consists of three main components, says the Capital Regional District:
- The McLoughlin Point Wastewater Treatment Plant in Esquimalt, which provides tertiary treatment to the core area’s wastewater;
- The Residuals Treatment Facility located in Saanich at the Hartland Landfill, which turns residual solids into Class A biosolids; and
- A conveyance system, which carries wastewater from across the core area to the treatment plant, and residual solids to the Residuals Treatment Facility.
The treatment project was built to meet federal and provincial regulations for wastewater treatment, the CRD says.
“This project has been years in the making and I’m very pleased we are meeting our regulatory requirements to treat wastewater,” said Colin Plant, Board Chair of the CRD.
“This is the largest infrastructure project in the region’s history and is a demonstration of our commitment to protect our ocean and our environment,” he added.
According to the region, the McLoughlin Point Wastewater Treatment Plant can treat 108 megalitres of wastewater per day to a tertiary level – the equivalent of 43 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
This volume of wastewater treatment is one of the highest levels available, which exceeds the regulatory requirements, adds the CRD.
The wastewater system will be controlled and monitored 24/7 and the “state-of-the-art facility” is said to have 24-hour odour control monitoring, creating no “discernible odour in the community.”
“This state-of-the-art facility means a cleaner future for the region. Our government will continue to support initiatives like this one that protect our environment and create jobs for generations to come,” said B.C. Premier John Horgan in a written statement.
The majority of construction is complete on the major components of the Wastewater Treatment Project, however, construction continues on the Trent Forcemain and Arbutus Attenuation Tank – tanks being built to increase the capacity of the conveyance system – and is expected to be complete in spring 2021.
“The CRD would like to thank the Lekwungen speaking peoples, known today as Songhees and Esquimalt Nations, for their support of the Wastewater Treatment Project, much of which is located on their traditional territories. The CRD would also like to thank the W̱SÁNEĆ Nations as the Residuals Treatment Facility and parts of the conveyance system are located within their traditional territories,” reads a statement from the CRD.
According to the CRD, the Residuals Treatment Facility turns residual solids from the McLoughlin Point Wastewater Treatment Plant into Class A biosolids. The biosolids will be transported to the Lower Mainland where they will be used as an alternative fuel source for a cement manufacturing facility.
The CRD adds that it is currently in the process of determining a long-term biosolids strategy.
The Wastewater Treatment Project is funded by the Government of Canada ($211 million), the Government of British Columbia ($248 million) and the Capital Regional District ($316 million).