Government of Canada and FCM support Sechelt’s leading-edge Water Resource Centre (16/10/2014)
Municipal, federal and private sector representatives launch operations at the new Sechelt Water Resource Centre by opening valves on an innovative aeration system. Pictured left to right: Aaron Joe of Salish Soils Inc.; John Weston, MP; John R. Henderson, Mayor of Sechelt; and Brad Woodside, FCM President.
Sechelt, BC — John Weston, Member of Parliament for West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country, and Brad Woodside, president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and Mayor of the City of Fredericton, New Brunswick, today announced through the Green Municipal Fund™ (GMF), $1 million grant and a $7,407,702 loan to the District of Sechelt. The District used the $8,407,702 to fund a state-of-the-art tertiary wastewater treatment plant that exceeds the highest federal and provincial treatment standards. This makes it one of the best performing facilities in Canada; providing safe, efficient and affordable wastewater treatment. The new facility is also designed to achieve LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification. The announcement was made during the official opening ceremony for the Sechelt Water Resource Centre (SWRC).
"Our Government is helping municipalities across the country to achieve their goal of a cleaner and healthier environment for their citizens through the Green Municipal Fund," said MP Weston. "Today's announcement is another example of how our Government — in partnership with FCM — is helping communities like Sechelt build a greener future for our citizens."
Located close to downtown Sechelt and adjacent to the Sechelt Marsh, the SWRC will be noiseless, free of nuisance odours and integrated into park-like surroundings. It will use 48 per cent less energy than the District's existing treatment plants while having the capacity to treat almost twice the volume of wastewater. The SWRC employs the OrganicaTM treatment system, which uses growing plants to enhance the treatment process. This system is making its North American debut in Sechelt after a successful 10-year track record in Europe.
The SWRC will process wastewater into liquid effluent and dewatered biosolids. The standard of treatment will be one of the highest in Canada, meeting provincial reuse standards that are even higher than those in California. The high-quality effluent can be reused as non-potable water for landscape, industrial and agricultural purposes, including direct irrigation of food crops. Suspended solids discharged to the environment will decrease by 90 per cent.
Dewatered biosolids will be taken to a local company, Salish Soils, for composting into a Class A fertilizer product (the highest level of treatment in BC) suitable for unrestricted use. The innovative SWRC will also offer new business opportunities as a model to market the leading-edge technology and the know-how gained by the municipality, and has the potential to become a unique tourist attraction like similar projects in France.
"The Green Municipal Fund offers a range of resources and services that specifically address the sustainable community development needs of municipal governments," said Mr. Woodside. "The financing and knowledge provided by the Fund support the development of communities that are more environmentally, socially and economically sustainable. In this respect, Sechelt's Water Resource Centre is a stellar demonstration of a municipality successfully embracing innovation, gaining real value, and inspiring other Canadian communities."
"Sechelt is proud to be a leader in the use of state-of-the art technology to address the challenges our community faced in providing safe, efficient and affordable wastewater treatment," said Sechelt Mayor John R. Henderson. "We are proud to be showcasing an innovative solution to one of the many infrastructure challenges faced by municipalities across Canada. Sechelt looks forward to sharing what we have learned and the approach that we have developed with other communities."
This project is an exciting example of how GMF funding can be combined with funding from other programs — in this case, the UBCM Gas Tax Innovations Fund and the Building Canada Fund — to improve municipal infrastructure. In addition, the Sechelt Indian Government District, a customer of the SWRC, contributed funds towards the capital cost of the project.
The Government of Canada endowed the Federation of Canadian Municipalities with $550 million to establish the Green Municipal Fund™. The Fund supports partnerships and leveraging of both public and private-sector funding to reach higher standards of air, water and soil quality, and climate protection.
FCM has been the national voice of municipal governments since 1901. It fosters the development of sustainable communities to improve quality of life by promoting strong, effective, and accountable municipal government.