I blogged recently about the first national sewage treatment standard in Canada. Every year about 150 billion litres of untreated sewage are dumped into Canadian surface waters. The Environment Minister and Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities have announced that the Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations are now in force. The Regulations are established under the Fisheries Act and include mandatory minimum effluent quality standards that can be achieved through secondary wastewater treatment. The regulations are intended to prevent untreated and under-treated sewage from being dumped into surface waters.
Victoria's untreated sewage outfall
Greater Victoria, British Columbia, produces about129 million litres of raw sewage each year. Currently the Capital Regional District (CRD) of Greater Victoria, which is reponsible for the local water and sewage system, screens and dumps the waste without treatment into the Strait of Juan de Fuca through underwater outfall pipes.
Victoria's Core Area Wastewater Treatment Program
The governments of Canada and British Columbia and the Capital Regional District (Greater Victoria. comprised of 13 municipalities) recently announced $800 million in joint funding for the construction of a new wastewater treatment system for the CRD to improve treatment of wastewater discharged into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Called the Core Area Wastewater Treatment Program (CAWTP), it will be funded by $253.4 million from the federal government, up to a maximum of $248 million from the Province, and about $281.3 million from the CRD. The program includes three projects, a wastewater treatment plant and marine outfall, a Biosolids Energy Centre and conveyance system upgrades. The new facilities will be designed to satify the new federal Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations.
Public-private partnership (P3)
- A sludge dewatering and stabilization facility
- A biosolids storage and truck loading facility
- Pumping stations
- 18km of pipes to carry the sludge from the wastewater treatment plant to the Biosolids Energy Centre.
The P3 Canada fund will provide $83.40 Million in funding. The private sector partner will be responsible for designing, building, financing, operating and maintaining the facility for a total concession period of 25 years. The CRD of Victoria will own the facility and will be accountable for the project to ensure performance objectives are met and taxpayer investment is protected.