The Capital Regional District’s largest infrastructure project is now in operation.
The CRD says the $775-million wastewater treatment project is now treating wastewater and “exceeding regulatory requirements.”
The project was approved in 2016 to provide wastewater treatment for Victoria, Esquimalt, Esquimalt First Nation, Songhees First Nation, Saanich, Oak Bay, View Royal, Colwood and Langford. It was funded by the CRD and both the federal and provincial governments.
The project has three main components – a conveyance system, the McLoughlin Point wastewater treatment plant in Esquimalt, and the residuals treatment facility in Saanich, where residual solids will be turned into Class A biosolids.
A long-term biosolids strategy is still in the works, according to the CRD, but for five years they will be transported to the Lower Mainland to be used as an alternate fuel source by a cement manufacturing facility.
At the new McLoughlin Point Wastewater Treatment Plant, wastewater receives tertiary treatment – one of the highest levels of contaminant reduction processes – before it’s discharged into the ocean about two kilometres from shore and 60 metres below the surface. The project comes in a $10 million over budget.
The CRD says majority of the work is now done on the project, except for an attenuation tank and forcemain, expected to be complete by spring 2021.
In a statement, CRD Board Chair Colin Plant thanked residents for their patience during “many months of construction and disruptions.”
“This is the largest infrastructure project in the region’s history and is a demonstration of our commitment to protect our ocean and our environment,” he said.
Construction on the wastewater project took four years and at its peak, had more than 650 people working on the project across 24 construction sites. More than 35 kilometres of pipe were installed including a cross-harbour undersea pipe from Ogden Point in Victoria to McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt.
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