Village Residents have asked for a “made in Cumberland” solution to wastewater treatment and will vote on whether to give the Village authority to borrow up to $4.4M to build it.
Cumberland, BC – When the local government elections are held Saturday Oct. 20, Cumberland residents will see a question on the ballot asking them to vote yes or no to the Village borrowing money to upgrade its liquid waste treatment system to meet provincial standards.
The Village is looking to borrow $1.2 to $4.4 million for the project, which would construct an upgraded lagoon wastewater (sewer) treatment plant to handle liquid waste for Cumberland in a better environmental fashion for the next 20 years. Cumberland has applied for federal and provincial grants to cover the rest of the $9.7 million project.
“We need to develop an environmentally-sustainable method of treating the liquid waste that is produced by the village,” said Mayor Leslie Baird. “This solution is the result of nearly two years of planning by community volunteers, technical experts and agencies and moving it forward will address a significant issue in our community’s infrastructure.”
The Village’s wastewater treatment does not comply with Ministry of Environment regulations and enforcement notices have been issued over the past two years, with an advisory this year that the province could start levying fines for non-compliance. Currently, the community’s partially treated effluent is discharged to Maple Lake Creek and then flows to the Trent River and into Baynes Sound.
The upgraded lagoon treatment would discharge to natural wetlands north of the lagoon and then continue to the Maple Lake Creek watershed. Distributing the final treated water to the wetland area would restore natural summer “wet” conditions to this drained area as the water flows towards Maple Lake Creek. Among other improvements, the lagoon aeration capacity would be increased, phosphorus would be removed, “fish friendly” disinfection would be used, and the treated water would be “polished” to remove organic contaminants such as pharmaceuticals.
Information on the vote and the project itself can be found by searching for Village Upgrades at Cumberland.ca – Watch for more information in the coming weeks as the Village rolls out the Clear Facts on Wastewater information campaign to get residents ready to make an informed decision on Oct. 20.