Ottawa and B.C. pitch in on $9M sewer upgrades in Oak Bay

Ottawa and B.C. pitch in on $9M sewer upgrades in Oak Bay
Nicholas Pescod

The District of Oak Bay says nearly $9 million in infrastructure upgrades are coming, thanks to funding from the federal and provincial governments.

More than $8.8 million will go into overhauling the district’s stormwater and wastewater systems.

Currently, the community has a combined sewer system in the Uplands area. That means wastewater mixes with stormwater, which can cause issues during storms.

“During heavy rainfall, combined systems are susceptible to overflow, causing effluent to be discharged into local bodies of water,” said the district in a release Thursday.

“While most contaminants are filtered out before the untreated water is reintroduced into the environment, overflows can still have a negative impact.”

The new funding will be used to replace the combined sewer system with separate stormwater and wastewater lines.

The federal government is providing $3.54 million to the project, while the provincial government is contributing $2.94 million. Oak Bay is providing the remaining $2.36 million.

There’s no word yet on when construction of the new sewer lines will start.

“Infrastructure is the backbone of a community, and while not always seen, it serves a vital role in livability,” said Oak Bay Mayor Kevin Murdoch in a statement Thursday.

“This investment from all three levels of government helps ensure that residents of Oak Bay and the wider region are better prepared for the impacts of climate changes and that our natural waterways and environment are protected.”

SEE ALSO: Oak Bay seeks project lead to help plan future of Oak Bay Marina site at Turkey Head

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