I Want To

Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade (Cell#1) Alternative Approval Update

The District of Clearwater is looking to establish a Loan Authorization Bylaw for $560,000 for the upgrades to wastewater treatment facility (Cell#1).

Why is it necessary to upgrade the wastewater treatment facility?

These upgrades will increase the treatment capacity of the District’s wastewater system which is crucial to comply with the Ministry of Environment permit requirements. In recent years, during peak summer flow conditions, the District has had challenges achieving the wastewater treatment requirements because the flow and concentration of wastewater being treated by the plant occasionally exceeded the treatment capacity of the plant.

Upon completion of the project, the wastewater treatment plant capacity will be increased to treat current and future flows for ±20 years.

The Wastewater treatment plant lagoons were built in 1972 and cell#2 upgraded in 2009. So far, Cell#1 is 50% complete with the headworks screen (removes non-organics from sewage), piping and control structures and aeration (required for treatment) needing to be finalized.

Why do I have to pay for the expansion?

The current sewer users benefit from the upgrade to the sewer with a long-term reliable sewer system that is fully compliant with the Ministry of Environment’s standards by reducing build-up of non-organic material in the treatment lagoons by the screening incoming flows.

The total cost of this project is $2.47mil and it is 73% grant funded (federal and provincial). The District is required to contribute 26.7%; these dollars are coming from Development Cost Charges and Septic Receiving Reserves which leaves $560,000 to cover the remainder. The amount will be borrowed over 15 years starting January 2021.  The annual cost of borrowing over 15 years is $42,686.26, these funds will be covered with $12,686.26 from septic receiving revenue and $30,000 in user fees.

How does this translate?

The $30,000 in user fees mean an increase in the current fees charged; these fees are distributed by residential, institutional, and commercial properties.  Starting in January 2021, a single-family dwelling who pays $36.60 per month in sewer fees, will see an increase of approximately $35.16 annually or $2.93 per month for a 15-year term.

Restaurants, Hotels, Apartments, hospital and schools that are connected to the sewer system will pay higher user fees based on # of units as they use the system more.

The District has held a public information meeting on June 16, 2020 and is now holding an Alternative Approval Process to provide property owners in the “sewer service area” only an opportunity to vote if they are not in favour of the establishment of this bylaw. The deadline for nay-votes is July 20 at 4pm with unofficial results available that week.  The official results are then presented to Council on August 18, 2020.

For more information, please view this page on our website dedicated to this project or feel free to contact Leslie Groulx at cao@docbc.ca.

Cell#1 Partition Walls

Headworks Screen