The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary has received approval from the province for its Liquid Waste Management Plan (LWMP), which includes major upgrades planned for the sewage treatment that services Rossland, Trail, and Warfield as well as a small percentage of homes in Oasis and Rivervale.
So, why is this importance news for service users living in those communities?
“This really strengthens our application,” regional spokesperson Frances Maika told the Times, referring to a $46M grant application submitted for the treatment plant called the Columbia Pollution Control Centre (CPCC).
“And getting the final LWMP approved is a major step in getting the CPCC upgrades closer to being done.”
Read more: $52M grant denied for RDKB
On Feb. 26, the RDKB applied for a $46 million grant through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP), Green Infrastructure – Environmental Quality Program to upgrade the CPCC to secondary sewage treatment. The ICIP will fund up to 73 per cent of project costs with local government responsible for the remaining 27 percent.
The project will cost a total of $63 million and so the RDKB would pay $17 million through existing reserves if the project is approved for funding. The ICIP will announce approved projects in spring 2021.
“It’s not often I get to say that I’m excited about sewage, but I really am,” said Diane Langman, RDKB board chair.
“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,” she said. “We are more than ready to upgrade our biggest sewage treatment facility in the region for the benefit of 13,000 residents.”
The CPCC currently has primary treatment, which does not meet modern standards for wastewater discharge.
The upgraded wastewater treatment plant will significantly improve the quality of the wastewater discharge with the addition of secondary biological treatment and UV disinfection.
The facility will also recover and reuse water and heat from effluent as well as incorporate an electric vehicle charging station into building design.
All these improvements will result in less energy and water consumed. In addition, the construction project will inject capital into the region, bringing needed jobs and boosting the local economy.
“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,” said Robert Cacchioni, Trail councillor and regional director.
“I am very thankful to Minister Heyman for approving our plan … The health of our economy, communities, river and ecosystems in this area depends on it.”
The RDKB began their Liquid Waste Management Plan in 2006 to identify appropriate and cost effective pollution prevention options within the service area.
Stage 1 of the LWMP was approved in 2008. Stage 2 was approved in 2017, and confirmed that upgrades to the existing CPCC at its current location in Trail was the most economical and technically viable solution for communities to meet wastewater treatment standards for the next 50 years.