Port Alberni receives $6.7M for wastewater treatment upgrade

The Clean Water and Waste Water Fund grant brings revenue for the treatment plant up to $18M

One of the largest infrastructure projects in Port Alberni’s recent history has received a further federal-provincial investment with the announcement of a $6.7 million grant from the Clean Water and Waste Water Fund.

The funding will help ensure the protection of public health and waterways by supporting the development of an upgraded wastewater treatment system, currently in the planning stages as part of the City’s Liquid Waste Management Plan (LWMP).

It is expected that, thanks to this investment, residents of Port Alberni and the surrounding area will benefit from improved handling and treatment of wastewater from residences, businesses and schools in the city and some surrounding areas.

The Somass Estuary Environmental Stewardship Protection Project will utilize a disused lagoon facility purchased by the city from Catalyst Paper, resulting in an expanded waste water treatment capacity. Improvements to waste water treatment and outflow, exceeding federal and provincial standards, will mean that people, the environment and fish will all benefit from this investment.

When combined with the $11.2 million received in 2011 from the federal government’s Gas Tax Fund, the city’s wastewater treatment upgrade has now received approximately $18 million in grant funding. Costs associated with the overall project have been estimated at approximately $22 million, excluding the acquisition costs of the former Catalyst Paper lagoon facility.

Mayor Mike Ruttan said the city is grateful for the federal and provincial funding assistance it has received for the project.

“City Council is extremely pleased with the funding support provided by both the federal and provincial governments,” said Mayor Mike Ruttan. “This project’s innovative use of redundant industrial infrastructure reflects the City of Port Alberni’s commitment to environmental stewardship, infrastructure renewal, and innovative leadership that enables the city to live within it’s means while at the same time enhancing livability in our community.”

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