Better drinking water and wastewater systems coming to Cumberland, Powell River, and Tofino

WEST VANCOUVER, BC, Aug. 27, 2019 /CNW/ - The governments of Canada and British Columbia are investing in modern reliable water services to build healthy sustainable communities where families can thrive today and for years to come. 

Today, Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Member of Parliament for West Vancouver–Sunshine Coast–Sea to Sky Country, on behalf of the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities; and Sheila Malcolmson, Parliamentary Secretary for Environment and Member of the Legislative Assembly for Nanaimo, on behalf of the Honourable Selina Robinson, B.C. Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, announced funding for 15 projects to improve drinking water and wastewater services for residents across British Columbia.   

"Through this landmark investment in drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, we are helping to deliver the services people count on, while helping to keep our communities and environment healthy," says Malcolmson. "The Province is working in partnership with the federal government to invest in critical infrastructure for communities in a way that works for the people that live in these communities while building a healthy, green future for all British Columbians."

Six projects will help protect the health of residents by improving access to safe and reliable drinking water in small communities, including First Nations communities, in some cases resolving current drinking water advisories and reducing the likelihood of future ones.

"This investment into wastewater treatment in Tofino—the largest infrastructure investment in the municipality's history—enables us to truly meet our responsibilities as citizens of the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, an incredible region that provides the foundation of our local economies and healthy communities," says Josie Osborne, Mayor of Tofino. "It simply could not have happened without partnership among all levels of government and our joint commitment to respect and protect British Columbia's beautiful natural environment."

Nine projects will support new and upgraded wastewater systems to meet regulatory standards, modernize services and support growing communities. By reducing pollutants and improving overall environmental performance, the new and upgraded systems will also help protect waterways and ecosystems for future generations.

The Government of Canada is investing more than $100 million in these projects through the Green Infrastructure Stream – Environmental Quality program of the Investing in Canada plan and the Small Communities Fund of the New Building Canada Fund. The Government of British Columbia is contributing nearly $80 million and the municipalities are contributing more than $60 million to these projects.

Quick Facts

  • In 2018, the Canadian and British Columbian governments committed up to $243 million towards an initial intake of the Green Infrastructure-Environmental Quality program to support cost-sharing of infrastructure projects in communities across the province.
  • Under the Environmental Quality program, federal and provincial funding covers up to 73.33% of eligible project costs, and up to 90% for off-reserve Indigenous projects; the remaining funding is the responsibility of the community.
  • Through the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan, the Government of Canada is investing more than $180 billionover 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada's rural and northern communities.
  • $26.9 billion of this funding is supporting green infrastructure projects, including $5 billion available for investment through the Canada Infrastructure Bank.


Better drinking water and wastewater systems coming to multiple BC communities

Joint federal, provincial and municipal funding through the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan and New Building Canada Fund will support water and wastewater infrastructure improvements in 15 British Columbia communities.

The Government of Canada is investing more than $100 million in these projects through the Green Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Plan. The Government of British Columbia is contributing almost $80 million and the municipalities are contributing more than $60 million to these projects.

Project Information

Project Name


Project Details

Federal Funding



Local Governments' Funding

Secondary Wastewater Treatment and System Upgrades

District of Tofino

The project will construct a new wastewater treatment plant and ultra-violet disinfection for treated effluent to help improve and protect the local marine environment.  This will service the District of Tofino, Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, and Parks Canada.




North Okanagan Wastewater Recovery Project

Township of Spallumcheen

The project will construct a new wastewater treatment facility, sludge treatment system, and about 12 km of gravity and force main pump stations. This will serve existing and future residents of Swan Lake and industry in Spallumcheen, the Okanagan Indian Band, and the Regional District of North Okanagan.




Consolidated Wastewater Treatment Project

City of Powell River

The project will include a new consolidated wastewater treatment plant to replace three existing systems. This will provide sewage treatment well into the future for the downtown, Wildwood and Westview areas and will have capacity to serve the Tla'amin First Nation.




Wastewater Treatment Upgrading

District of Clearwater

The project will construct a new headworks building and increase the lagoons within the wastewater treatment system to improve treatment capacity.




Montrose Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrades

Village of Montrose

The project will upgrade the existing wastewater treatment plant to increase operator feedback, improve effluence quality, and address health and safety concerns.




Potable Water Treatment and Submarine Waterline Replacement Project

City of Prince Rupert

The project will construct a new water treatment plant and submarine water pipeline across Fern Channel to ensure clean, safe drinking water for residents and visitors and to resolve future boil water notices.




Houpsitas Village - Community Infrastructure Renewal

First Nations of Kyuquot / Checleseht First Nations

The project will include two new water reservoirs, two water pump houses, a chlorine and ultraviolet water treatment facility, about 1,250m of water main,  about 1,650m of sanitary sewer main, and about 900m of storm drainage infrastructure to the benefit of the Houpsitas Village, and surrounding areas.




City of Rossland Water Treatment Plant Improvements


City of Rossland

The project will include an upgrade to the water treatment plant's disinfection and control system, and add a backup power source for the plant.




Village of Burns Lake Water Treatment Plant

Village of Burns Lake

The project will include a new water treatment building and installation of two biological manganese removal filters, and chemical arsenic removal filters. This will help reduce the levels of manganese and arsenic in the water system.




Hagensborg Community Potable Water Distribution and Treatment

Regional District of Central Coast

The project will address the long term boil water notice and build a dual barrier water treatment system for surface sourced water. The project includes: construction of a water treatment plant; installation of filtration equipment, UV and chlorine disinfection, controls and equipment; and connection of the existing backup well to the new treatment plant.




Rural Area Twinning - Phases 2 and 3

Town of Osoyoos

The project will include about 9,900 m of water main, about 2,300 m of water supply main, and about 228 water services to extend the Town's municipal drinking water system into the Southwest Sector Area.




Black Tusk Village Wastewater Integration Project

Squamish-Lillooet Regional District

The project consists of a new wastewater collection system in Black Tusk Village. The project includes: installation of approximately 2.3 km of force mains, installation of approximately 94 grinder lift stations, and expansion of the existing wastewater treatment plant.




Cumberland High Performance Wastewater Lagoon Upgrade

Village of Cumberland

The new treatment system will provide a high (tertiary) level of treatment with phosphorous removal to protect the downstream waterways of Maple Creek and the Trent River and will restore an old wetland area to enhance nature and add recreational opportunities.




The Government of Canada is investing over $880,000 towards these two projects through the Small Community Fund (SCF) from the New Building Canada Fund.

Project Name


Project Details

Federal Funding



Local Governments' Funding

Sinku Drive Wastewater Project

Indian Government District of Sechelt

The project will include 650 m of community collection sewers and a new low pressure system connecting to the existing sewer system.




Water Treatment Upgrade

District of Wells

The project will include a new filtration system and installing piping, valves and instrumentation to improve the drinking water system.




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