Grant application for Revelstoke sewage treatment plant upgrade requires $3.6 million city commitment

Upgrades will bring Revelstoke's sewer treatment plant up to provincial, federal standards of operation.

The City of Revelstoke sewage lagoon in the industrial park area in Southside. Photo: file

A grant funding application to pay for much needed upgrades to Revelstoke’s sewer treatment facilities received support from the city’s committee of the whole.

At a special meeting on Monday, Aug. 20, members of the committee of the whole, which consists of city councillors, approved a motion to recommend council support a grant funding application for phase 1 of the Wastewater Treatment Facility upgrades. The grant application through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program – Green Infrastructure: Environmental Quality Sub-stream could provide the city with just under $10 million dollars to go towards the estimated $13.6 million required to complete phase 1.

The remaining $3.6 million will need to come out of city funds, something the committee  also agreed to recommend council approve. Director of engineering Mike Thomas said city staff are currently exploring options on where the city funds will come from, but said staff plan to incorporate the cost into the 2018–2019 budget to ensure the funds are allocated accordingly. The city is required to provide some of its own funding as part of being eligible for the Canada Infrastructure Grant.

The special committee of the whole meeting was called in order to give council a chance to have a dialogue about the large funding application and resolution to spend nearly $4 million in city funds. The deadline for the grant application is Aug. 29 and the next council meeting won’t happen until Tuesday, Aug. 28. If successful, the grant funding would help to pay for phase 1 of what will be a three-phase upgrade to the sewer treatment plant.

When completed the three phases will help to configure the sewer treatment plant to meet federal and provincial regulations for the next two decades. Currently, the operating permit the city has for the sewer treatment plant is from 1993. Thomas said is is essentially the same permit as the previous one which the city obtained in 1978. The permit currently held by the city does not meet current provincial guidelines but because the city is currently working under that operating permit those are the standards that must be adhered to.

“As we grow as a community we need to grow both the capacity of the plant and improve the effluent going out of the plant because we will exceed that existing operating permit,” said Thomas.

Mayor Mark McKee asked if changes made to the sewage treatment plant as part of phase 1 would help to eliminate the sour, rancid smell that has plagued the community for numerous years. Thomas said the first phase does include working towards solving the sewer odour issue. Recently city staff replaced aerators in pond one, however it could take upwards of a year to fully know if the new aerators will help solve the odour issue.

Phase 1 of the project would also include creating an updated liquid waste management plan.

For background, see the city report into the grant application here.