Waste plant targeted for upgrade

NANAIMO – Regional District of Nanaimo eyes government funding for a system at Greater Nanaimo Pollution Control Centre.

With an April 28 deadline looming, the Regional District of Nanaimo is hoping to acquire government funding for a dewatering system at the Greater Nanaimo Pollution Control Centre.

The centre is expanding capacity and adding secondary wastewater treatment technology. The current belt filter press system is nearing the end of its service life and isn’t capable of the added volume of sewage, so a centrifuge and polymer system is sought.

The project has an estimated cost of $1.4 million and the regional district intends to apply to the New Building Canada Fund Small Communities Fund, with federal and provincial governments each providing a maximum of one-third of the cost, according to the regional district.

The regional district board endorsed the project at its committee of the whole meeting Tuesday night.

“The centrifuge is essentially a device that spins the solids, the organics, the sludge and within there is introduced the polymer that acts as a coagulant, so holds the solids together and allows any of the liquids to be extracted through this process of spinning, within the device. The end product is almost like what you would have in your compost,” said Sean De Pol, regional district manager of wastewater services.

The regional district may purchase the centrifuge, said De Pol, with the regional district going to tender for its installation.

“The system as well, is partially automated, so that the operators at the plant will set it up and let it run on its own and there’s alarms and sensors that allow it to run in automation, so that will be what the contractor will ultimately set up,” said De Pol.

The project is anticipated to begin in 2017 and De Pol said it is one that will move forward regardless of funding.

In that situation, money would come from borrowing, development cost charges and reserve funds, said De Pol.