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BC region closer to success on second funding attempt for sewage treatment plant upgrades

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British Columbia’s approval of the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary’s Liquid Waste Management Plan (LWMP) ticks off a key box towards the greenlighting of the region’s $46-million grant application for sewage treatment plant upgrades.

The infrastructure grant focuses on major upgrades planned for the Columbia Pollution Control Centre (CPCC), which primarily includes a move towards secondary biological treatment and UV disinfection. The facility also plans to recover and reuse water and heat from effluent as well as incorporate an electric vehicle charging station into the building design.

The centre, built in the 1970s, provides sewage treatment to the B.C. communities of Rossland, Trail and Warfield, as well as Oasis and Rivervale in Electoral Area B / Lower Columbia-Old Glory.

The region began its LWMP in 2006, and was previously denied a grant for sewage upgrades in the fall of 2019.

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“It’s not often I get to say that I’m excited about sewage, but I really am,” said Diane Langman, RDKB Board Chair, in a statement to media. “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,” she added.

The LWMP project is estimated to cost a total of $63 million, with RDKB paying $17 million through existing reserves, if the project is approved for funding in spring 2021. 

Upgrade elements to the Columbia Pollution Control Centre: 
  • Design for a population of 20,800 people (currently ~13,500)
  • New headworks building with influent screening and grit removal
  • New primary clarifiers for solids removal
  • New secondary biological treatment process using MBBR
  • New small footprint dissolved air flotation secondary clarification
  • New disinfection system using ultraviolet light
  • Reuse existing anaerobic digesters for waste solids stabilization
  • New building for dewatering waste biosolids
  • Reclamation of waste effluent heat for building heating and cooling
  • Reclamation of effluent for irrigation and non-potable water uses at the plant
  • Comprehensive odour control
  • Architectural building design and landscape design

The LWMP is now at the final stage, stage 3, where a decision has been made on how to upgrade the infrastructure to meet the new environmental standards.

“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,” announced 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,” he added.

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