The Government of Yukon says its six-year-old wastewater treatment plant “has never operated the way it was intended to,” and is costing Dawson City nearly $1 million per year to operate. By comparison, the nearby City of Whitehorse’s sewage lagoon, which serves a much larger population, only costs between $100,000 and $200,000 per year to manage.
Dawson City officials say they hope a new wastewater treatment option will be operational by 2026 or earlier because its current facility is barely capable of meeting effluent discharge standards under normal operating conditions.
“This plant has been a costly endeavour for Dawson City and Yukon,” Minister of Community Services John Streicker stated in a recent announcement to media. “It has never operated the way it was intended to, and as Dawson grows the challenges of maintaining the facility will become even more difficult. We are committed to working with the City of Dawson to develop a sustainable wastewater treatment option,” Streicker added.
Corix Water Systems Inc., which built the facility in 2012, operated the plant until early 2017. Since then, it has been run by Yukon’s Community Services.
The Yukon government remains embroiled in a lawsuit with British Columbia based contractor Corix Utilities over issues with the plant.
The facility was failing water quality tests some two years after becoming operational.
About the Dawson City wastewater treatment plant
The Dawson City WWTP uses a deep shaft treatment process called Vertreat. Aeration is conducted in two 95-metre deep shafts that interface at the base of two head tanks.