City of Kamloops faces multi-million dollar bill to meet new sewage requirements | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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City of Kamloops faces multi-million dollar bill to meet new sewage requirements

September 28, 2021 - 6:30 PM

The City of Kamloops is planning to spend an estimated $30 to $40 million on improvements to the sewage treatment plant in order to meet provincial regulations.

Although the sewage treatment centre was upgraded in a multi-million dollar project in 2014, a report from the Civic Operations department explains the facility is inefficient in some areas and it falls short of environmental regulations set out by the province.

The City first started exploring upgrades to the facility in 1999, which was followed by two cost estimates.

In 2003, council chose a partial upgrade, which was estimated at $25.5 million and saved the City $40 million when compared to a "full scale" improvement, according to the report presented at a Civic Operations committee meeting in June.

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Preliminary estimates now place the upgrades needed in the $30 to $40 million range, but a consulting company is expecting to present a more detailed plan at the end of October.

The current sewage treatment plant is regulated under federal laws, but once Kamloops is registered under provincial regulations, discharge from the facility will emit too much phosphorus and will not meet pH requirements.

City staff also expect the regulations to get stricter as time goes on.

According to the report, some of the facility's technology was the first of its kind, including the bioreactor, which uses bacteria to clean the waste.

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"After seven years and many different operational approaches, it has been determined that these areas do not function as expected," the report reads. It also notes that other areas, like UV treatment, work "exceptionally well."

The City has requested that the B.C. Ministry of Environment waive certain regulations to allow for the excess phosphorus and pH level of the waste be discharged, but the province has denied those requests, according to the report.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Levi Landry or call 250-819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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