The City of Trail received a notable grant from the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund. Improvements include the installation of UV Light for disinfection. (Photo: Sunningdale water tower)

Funding allows UV light to clean Trail water

Through the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund, Trail will be adding UV lights to disinfect the city's water.

Ratepayers for Trail water are much less burdened now that the city’s regulated $1.2 million-plant upgrade has been approved in a cost-sharing program with the province and federal government.

Projects supported through the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund receive 50 per cent of costs through the federal government, 33 per cent by provincial ministries and local government covers the remaining 17 per cent.

For Water Treatment Plant (WTP) improvements, the city received $623,000 federal dollars and $411,000 from B.C., leaving Trail’s share at $212,000.

User rates will cover the city’s costs for the project, which is slated to begin in the fall.

The project is included in the 2017 Water Capital Budget, says Chief Administrative Officer David Perehudoff.

“The City of Trail submitted the application for funding last year (and) it involves regulatory upgrades to the Water Treatment plant,” he explained.

Those upgrades include Ultra Violet (UV) light disinfection. Unlike chemical approaches to water disinfection, UV light provides rapid, effective inactivation of microorganisms through a physical process. When bacteria, viruses and protozoa are exposed to the germicidal wavelengths of UV light, they are rendered incapable of reproducing and infecting.

“UV disinfection is going to be a new addition to the city’s water treatment process,” explains Superintendent of Utilities, Chris McIsaac. “The addition of UV reactors will enable the city to meet the highest level of disinfection required by provincial regulations as it relates to surface water. Regulations require that surface water treatment processes meet ‘3-log’ removal requirements, which simply put means that the treatment process must be able to effectively neutralize the harmful bugs which are not removed or neutralized by our current treatment processes. So in a nut shell the UV light kills any microorganisms which our current process does not.”

UV light, Wikipedia image

The application of UVGI (Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation) to disinfection has been an accepted practice, primarily for medical sanitation and sterile work facilities, since the mid-20th century. Increasingly it has been employed to sterilize drinking and wastewater, as the holding facilities are enclosed and can be circulated to ensure a higher UV exposure.

The work scope also includes rebuilding of the filter beds and upgrading to a control system infrastructure known as “SCADA.” Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) is a computerized system for the automated computer controls associated with the treatment plant and related operations.

Canada and British Columbia launched the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund (Fund) in September 2016.

The governments committed up to $374 million under the Fund to support infrastructure projects in communities across the province. The Government of Canada will contribute $225 million and the Province of British Columbia will contribute $148.5 million to the total program funds.

The Fund is being used to accelerate short-term local government investments, while supporting the rehabilitation of water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure, and the planning and design of future facilities and upgrades to existing systems.

Related projects in the Beaver Valley were included in the first round of grants announced last fall.

A major capital investment in Montrose currently underway, the Rapid Infiltration Basin Rehabilitation project, was approved by council following a successful submission to the Fund.

The village’s portion of the $790,000 job is $135,000.

The Village of Fruitvale received $1.55 million last fall for upgrades that include replacement of a failing pipe bridge crossing on the south side of town, and replacement of the main connection for two thirds of the village’s waste.

The total project is $1.87 million, leaving Fruitvale taxpayers responsible for $317,050 after the province kicks in just over $615,000 and the Government of Canada, $932,500.

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