Town contractor Golder Associates Ltd. carried out site investigation work to test for contamination levels in soil and ground water around the Ladysmith waterfront. (Cole Schisler photo)

Town contractor Golder Associates Ltd. carried out site investigation work to test for contamination levels in soil and ground water around the Ladysmith waterfront. (Cole Schisler photo)

Town receives grants to fund uplands remediation, UV disinfection pilot

The grants came from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Green Municipal Fund

The Town of Ladysmith has been awarded a pair of Federation of Canadian Municipalities Green Municipal Fund grants totalling $414,000 for projects which they say will support the sustainability of the Ladysmith waterfront.

On Wednesday, FCM announced $1.76 million for BC municipalities and First Nations to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve the quality of water, land and transportation in communities across British Columbia.

A portion of the Federal funding ($168,400) received by the Town is dedicated towards the completion of an environmental assessment and remedial action plan for the uplands identified within the Waterfront Area Plan (WAP).

RELATED: Council votes to move forward with detailed site investigation of waterfront area lands

Council previously approved conducting a site investigation, which has been ongoing since late 2020, and these grant funds allow the Town to recover a portion of the costs for completing this work.

The uplands area is defined as the Town-owned land from the foreshore up to the E&N rail line, and from Captain Tristan de Koninck Way to 940 Oyster Bay Dr. The budgeted costs for the study are approximately $400,000, with funds coming from general surplus and development reserves. Funds will not be coming from the 2020 Budget.

A detailed site investigation of the uplands area is required because of contaminants in the area that require remediation. In 2012, the Town released a report by Golder Associates that outlines the environmental conditions of the Ladysmith Harbour, the extent of contamination, and a range of costs for alternatives to address remediation.

Following the receipt of a final report, it’s anticipated that the Town will be able to apply to the Province as part of the next steps for determining a remediation plan and schedule, as we continue with the ongoing implementation of the WAP.

RELATED: Down by the bay: an update on the implementation of the Waterfront Area Plan

The second grant ($246,000) helps partially fund an ultra-violet (UV) disinfection pilot project at Ladysmith’s Wastewater Treatment Plant, supporting recommendations contained within the Town’s long-term strategy for wastewater management.

The pilot study was completed this spring and found that UV disinfection is a feasible option for disinfection of viruses when compared to the current practice involving the use of chlorine.

The pilot study results provide insight into an alternative disinfection method that may further protect commercial, recreational, and First Nation shellfish harvesting areas.

Furthermore, examining the effectiveness of UV, especially in a unique harbour environment, is the first known study of its kind and the Town is grateful for the support provided by Vancouver Island University during this initial phase.