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BC’s Squamish WWTP set for new secondary clarifier during $10M upgrade

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British Columbia’s near-capacity Squamish Wastewater Treatment Plant is getting a $10-million overhaul that includes a new secondary clarifier and concentric ring bioreactor, as well as a new septage receiving station, states a funding announcement.

Construction on the upgrades has already begun, and will continue through to September 2023, as crews perform electrical and control system upgrades as well as convert an old clarifier tank into a primary clarifier.

The project is funded entirely by local Development Cost Charges and Reserves.

Currently, some 24,000 people in Squamish, connected through some 142 kilometres of sewer pipe, will benefit from the increased treatment capacity, seismic and flood resiliency, as well as improved plant performance and effluent quality, while decreasing biosolids production by 10% and associated energy usage, carbon emissions and handling costs. This upgrade will reduce aeration requirements in the treatment process resulting in a 35% reduction in electricity consumption.

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“Our commitment to investment in critical infrastructure is steadfast as we strive not only to keep up with the growth of our community, but to also mitigate the effects of our changing climate,” announced District of Squamish Mayor Karen Elliott in a statement. “These upgrades are of even greater importance to ensure our critical services are resilient and withstand extreme weather events today and into the future,” she added.

In relation to the new space-saving secondary clarifier and concentric ring bioreactor, these two processing tanks will be able to perform the activated sludge process that uses aeration and bacteria to treat wastewater, as well as the clarification process that separates solids and scum to prepare wastewater for UV treatment.

The new upgrades were identified as necessary in 2015 in Squamish’s Liquid Waste Management Plan. The upgrades should sustain population growth until approximately 2040 and will provide post-disaster operability and withstand seismic and flood events, the plan states.

The district is investing $50 million this year in critical infrastructure and facilities, including dikes and culverts.

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