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Greater Victoria proposes $1B water filtration plant by 2037

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A new water filtration plant proposed for British Columbia’s Greater Victoria region could top $1 billion, according to a new water supply master plan that aims to tackle projected population growth, impacts from climate change, and increasing regulatory requirements.

There are 21 proposed water projects in the new plan, which expects to spend $2 billion over the next three decades, and address a population that will require more water by 2045.

Located at the Sooke Reservoir, a key component of the new plan would be the proposed Goldstream water filtration plant, a single direct filtration plant located upstream of the Goldstream disinfection facility, according to Capital Regional District (CRD) officials. With a tentative completion date of 2037, the filtration plant would protect the regional water supply from potential raw water quality fluctuations from climate change, forest fires, and the integration of water from the Leech and Goldstream water supply areas.

“The addition of filtration in combination with existing disinfection processes (ultraviolet disinfection followed by the addition of chlorine and ammonia) would provide a robust multi-barrier system able to better mitigate potential adverse raw water quality due to climate change impacts, reduce the vulnerability of the current treatment system, and protect public health,” states an overview of the plan.

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The filtration plant proposal also includes a pump station, clearwell, balancing tank and the decommissioning of the Japan Gulch Dam and Reservoir.

Currently, the Goldstream Water Treatment Plant’s existing UV disinfection infrastructure is reaching end-of–life status and requires replacement with modern, integrated and efficient equipment that meets Island Health and CRD requirements for some 365,000 residents.

To make the filtration plant a reality, CRD officials are also recommending a $77-million east-west transmission main to connect the proposed filtration plant with the Juan de Fuca Water Distribution Service.

The project will also require an $89-million piped connection between Goldstream Lake Reservoir and the proposed filtration plant to protect the water quality of the secondary water supply for use during emergencies, or a Kapoor Tunnel shut down. It will eventually allow Kapoor Tunnel redundancy and increased raw water transmission capacity.

This article appears in ES&E Magazine’s August 2022 issue:

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