The Town of Ladysmith hasn’t waited around for the official announcement, but they are glad to see $1 million of federal grant money, plus a $10 million low interest loan, coming its way to go toward completion of an upgrade of the municipal sewage treatment plant.
The upgrade will see Ladysmith achieve secondary levels of sewage treatment, with a plant capable of accommodating a population of up to 30,000 people.
That will meet federal and provincial regulations for the discharge of effluent into marine environments for the foreseeable future, said John Manson, director of infrastructure services.
“It means we will eliminate over 90 per cent of the solids that are in sewage,” he said.
Federal funding for the project comes from its Green Municipal Fund, and is an example of what municipalities will be able to do with green infrastructure funding, say municipal leaders.
The Green Municipal Fund is aimed at capital projects and support planning, field tests and studies related to future green projects.
Manson said Ladysmith faced space constraints on its sewage treatment plant site that made it difficult to accommodate a conventional secondary treatment facility. They turned to a system that has been developed in Europe.
The process is not as common in North America, but it’s not new, he said. “It’s not experimental technology; it’s technology that’s been used before.”
Secondary treatment is a process of aerating effluent to accelerate the bacterial growth that breaks it down.
Ladysmith’s upgrade is the last phase of a project costing $20 million. Upgrading to secondary treatment will cost $17 million and that part of the project, which is 80 per cent complete, is expected to take 1.5 years to complete.