March has seen a number of infrastructure announcements across Canada as 2017 budgets are released. Read on to learn about funding for water, wastewater and environmental protection infrastructure in British Columbia and Newfoundland and Labrador.
British Columbia – Hullcar Valley
British Columbia announced on March 3, 2017, that it is providing $950,000 to support alternative drinking water sources, fund treatment for domestic wells, and support environmentally sound farming practices in the Hullcar Valley.
Steele Springs Water District, which draws on the Hullcar aquifer, serves approximately 150 residents, through 57 connections. BC Interior Health says it is also aware of an additional 22 private water wells, which draw water from the aquifer.
Due to high levels of nitrates, residents within the Steele Springs Water District drawing water from Hullcar Aquifer 103 have been under a Water Quality Advisory since July 2014. Sampling showed nitrate levels increasing from 8.8 mg/l in January 2014 to 13.3 mg/l in February 2016. The Canadian Drinking Water standard for nitrates is 10 mg/L.
According to the provincial government, nitrate pollution is coming from several sources. The Ministry of Environment issued Pollution Prevention and Pollution Abatement Orders to several local agricultural operations last year after water quality results and inspections concluded there are reasonable grounds to believe they are contributing to the high nitrate levels.
An inter-ministry working group, established in 2016, is working with agricultural operators to improve nutrient management practices.
For more information, visit: www.news.gov.bc.ca
British Columbia – continued
On March 11, 2017, the British Columbia government announced over $87 million in combined provincial and federal funding for 26 new infrastructure projects, 13 of which deal with water, wastewater and solid waste.
These projects are:
|Project title||Total eligible cost|
|Cove Bay Water Treatment Plant||$5,835,550|
|Comox Strathcona Waste Management Regional Organics Composting Facility||$8,312,617|
|Schikurski Pump Station Upgrade||$1,115,000|
|Duncan / North Cowichan Joint Utilities Board Wastewater Outfall Relocation||$27,733,000|
|Full Service Transfer Station at the Mackenzie Regional Landfill||$2,302,000|
|Upper Gar Creek Water Project||$321,196|
|Queensway Sewage Lagoon Erosion Protection – Phase 1||$1,123,001|
|Lantzville Phase III Sanitary Sewer Collection System||$6,560,000|
|Skaha Estates & Kaleden Sewering Project – Phase 1||$9,909,336|
|Peachland Creek Water Treatment Plant||$10,440,000|
|Pitt Polder Pump Station Replacement||$6,975,000|
|Trobak Hill Water Reservoir||$2,493,200|
For more information, visit: www.canada.ca
Newfoundland and Labrador
As part of its 2017 budget, the government of Newfoundland and Labrador announced on March 13, 2017, a new three-year municipal infrastructure program and call for applications from communities.
According to Eddie Joyce, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Environment, funding will support the government’s priorities of “strengthening municipal infrastructure, providing better access to higher quality water and wastewater systems, and enhancing disaster mitigation.”
The province said it will invest $100 million in infrastructure in the next three years, in addition to previously announced federal funding under the Small Communities Fund. Combined with already approved or submitted projects, NFLD is expecting $209 million in infrastructure project expenditures this upcoming fiscal year.
Municipal “priority projects”, i.e., water, wastewater and disaster mitigation, will be funded on a 90/10 cost-share basis for small communities (less than 3,000 population) with the province shouldering 90% and the municipality responsible for 10%. For municipalities with a population between 3,000 and 7,000, their share is 20%, and for those with a population greater than 7,000 the share is 30%.
For more information, visit: www.releases.gov.nl.ca