Regional District of Nanaimo gets provincial approval for liquid waste plan changes

The Regional District of Nanaimo has received provincial approval of amendments to its liquid waste management plan.

The Regional District of Nanaimo has received provincial approval of amendments to its liquid waste management plan.

Regional district directors approved the amendments in January and recently received a final approval letter from Environment Minister Mary Polak in late-October. The board voted to receive the letter at its Nov. 25 meeting.

The original liquid waste management plan was completed in 1997 and approved by the government in 1999, but a review is required every five to 10 years. According to Shelley Norum, regional district wastewater program coordinator, amendments include changes to timing for secondary (biological) treatment at regional district’s pollution control facilities at Nanaimo and Nanoose.

Norum said the original plan called for secondary treatment to be in place by 2015 in Nanaimo and 2010 in Nanoose but those dates have been moved to 2018 and 2023 respectively.

“For the Greater Nanaimo Pollution Control Centre, it’s a three-year difference, so it’s not quite as much as the Nanoose but the delay is partly because of some other capital projects that have been going on and in order to time everything, it was pushed out the three years,” she said.

Replacing the marine pipe at the Nanaimo facility, which currently in the design phase, is a priority and amongst the capital projects. Work is expected to begin in the summer of 2015.

Norum said the 2010 timeline for Nanoose was based on planned growth of the area at the time of the original plan, with increase in population to provide funds for upgrades, but projections have fallen short.

“Since the original plan was approved, there’s been very little growth in the area and so in order to have a suitable population to pay for the plant, it’s been rescheduled for 2023,” said Norum.