Port Alberni Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrades

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Background

The City of Port Alberni treats wastewater from approximately 18,000 people in the Alberni Valley. To provide this service, the City uses a centralized wastewater treatment plant and lagoon that has been in place since the 1950’s. With the infrastructure aging and the Canadian wastewater treatment standards changing, the City is upgrading the plant and lagoon.

The City’s Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrades are part of a larger process set out by the province for communities across BC to establish comprehensive, long-term strategies for dealing with all aspects of municipal wastewater, storm water, and runoff. The planning process, known as a Liquid Waste Management Plan (LWMP), provides each community with a roadmap that provides comprehensive solutions for managing their municipal wastewater responsibly and as required by Provincial and Federal regulations.

LWMP Planning

The City has completed Stage 1 of the LWMP process. From 2013-2017, the City worked extensively to develop a Stage 2 LWMP, which involved Public Consultation activities, and selection of the preferred wastewater management solution.

Based on the information gathered, the City commenced upgrades on the newly acquired Catalyst lagoon in 2018. With construction now nearing completion, the City is looking to complete a Combined Stage 2/3 LWMP submission for approval by City Council and the BC Ministry of Environment. The “Plan” will provide details on how the City intends to implement the LWMP, and continue to monitor the plan to ensure compliance.

Engaging on the Plan

Public and First Nations engagement is a key component to receiving plan approval. The City, in coordination with Associated Engineering, ran a Stage 2/3 LWMP public consultation program from June 19 - July 5, 2020. The program looked to update the public on progress of the LWMP components, increase awareness of the LWMP process, and allow an opportunity to provide feedback on the City's liquid waste management practices. For detailed results on the consultation program, please view the Combined Stages 2/3 LWMP Report in the Document Library.

Background

The City of Port Alberni treats wastewater from approximately 18,000 people in the Alberni Valley. To provide this service, the City uses a centralized wastewater treatment plant and lagoon that has been in place since the 1950’s. With the infrastructure aging and the Canadian wastewater treatment standards changing, the City is upgrading the plant and lagoon.

The City’s Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrades are part of a larger process set out by the province for communities across BC to establish comprehensive, long-term strategies for dealing with all aspects of municipal wastewater, storm water, and runoff. The planning process, known as a Liquid Waste Management Plan (LWMP), provides each community with a roadmap that provides comprehensive solutions for managing their municipal wastewater responsibly and as required by Provincial and Federal regulations.

LWMP Planning

The City has completed Stage 1 of the LWMP process. From 2013-2017, the City worked extensively to develop a Stage 2 LWMP, which involved Public Consultation activities, and selection of the preferred wastewater management solution.

Based on the information gathered, the City commenced upgrades on the newly acquired Catalyst lagoon in 2018. With construction now nearing completion, the City is looking to complete a Combined Stage 2/3 LWMP submission for approval by City Council and the BC Ministry of Environment. The “Plan” will provide details on how the City intends to implement the LWMP, and continue to monitor the plan to ensure compliance.

Engaging on the Plan

Public and First Nations engagement is a key component to receiving plan approval. The City, in coordination with Associated Engineering, ran a Stage 2/3 LWMP public consultation program from June 19 - July 5, 2020. The program looked to update the public on progress of the LWMP components, increase awareness of the LWMP process, and allow an opportunity to provide feedback on the City's liquid waste management practices. For detailed results on the consultation program, please view the Combined Stages 2/3 LWMP Report in the Document Library.

City staff are here to answer your questions on the Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrades project.

Q&A

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    I can't find the survey that you are asking us to complete. Where is it?

    Rainbird Asked 3 months ago

    Hi there, Thanks for the question. The survey closed on Sunday, July 5, 2020 at 4:30 p.m. If you are interested in this project and the future of wastewater in the Alberni Valley, please subscribe to the project page for direct updates and opportunities to engage. 

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    Why does the air stink of sewage?

    Deb Asked almost 2 years ago

    Good afternoon Deb,

    Our contractor is current mobilizing at the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) site, but no materials have been distributed that would cause odour issues. Further to that, we recently visited the site (day before yesterday) and odours could not be detected at the property line.

    There are other industrial activities within the city that do create odours thatsmell similar to  sewage and if the winds are not in our favour, they are very noticeable.

    If at any time you would like a tour of the WWTP, please don't hesitate to reach out me.  I think you would be amazed at just how odour free the facility/plant is.   

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    Is there a plan to rehabilitate the area around both the old lagoon and the new lagoon to return wildlife values to something approaching the way it was before the lagoons were built?

    Jim Asked almost 2 years ago

    The old lagoon will undergo rehabilitation during its decommissioning process in 2019/2020. This will include returning the 4.9 ha parcel to productive natural estuarine habitat.

    The City understands that many people value this area for recreational and environmental purposes and as a result, will launch a consultation program to gather input on ways to improve the area, so everyone can enjoy its natural beauty for years to come.

    When the time comes, I will promote this consultation to ensure we get as much input as possible. Please be sure to signup for project notifications to receive notification directly. 

    As for the new lagoon, we will be following strict environmental procedures during the upgrade work and strive to reduce construction-related impacts in the area throughout the project.

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    Could you be more specific about the treatments, Please?

    Sandy Asked almost 2 years ago

    Hi Sandy,

    I'll connect you with the project lead to discuss the specifics around treatment, as there are so many technical aspects to treatment. 

    Here is the contact info you seek:

    Ken Watson

    phone 250 723-2950

    email ken-watson@shaw.ca

    Please reach out to Ken at a time that's convenient for you.

    All the best,

    Alicia  

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    In the above photo, is the new treatment centre going to take up all of the existing estuaries to the south of the existing treatment plant?

    sue steinhauer Asked almost 2 years ago

    Hi Susan,

    The new wastewater treatment plant will not have one centralized building (see rendering below) but rather a few small buildings that all contribute to the larger treatment process. Any new structures associated with the upgrades will be constructed within the footprint of the new lagoon with the exception of a small section of land to the southwest. That area will be temporarily impacted when crews install the pipes to the new outfall.





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    4,153,741 Fed, 2,741,469 Prov, 1,412,272 City. Where is all of those Funds? Where's the Ledger?

    Richard Kudra Asked almost 2 years ago

    Good day, Richard. Thank you for your question.

    The City received a $2,193,175 funding advance in 2017 that we are now drawing against.  When we have drawn that advance down to $0 with expense claim submissions, we will be reimbursed for further claims until the total funds are exhausted.  The senior governments process is to advance part of the funds, then hold the balance and disburse as claimed. 

    In accordance with provincial reporting, the $2,193,175 was reported as Sewer Capital revenue for 2017.


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    What is the address

    kerry Asked about 2 years ago

    The address is 5600 Shoemaker Bay Road, Port Alberni, B.C.

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    What company was contracted to construct the new upgrades?

    about 2 years ago

    The company's name is Tritech Group. They are an industry leader in integrated design, project management, and construction services for water and wastewater infrastructure projects.