Kimberley’s biggest capital project – the new sewage treatment plant – Kimberley Daily Bulletin
As most Kimberley residents know, the town needs a new sewage treatment plant. The current Pollution Control Center was built in 1967 and upgraded in 1979. According to project information on EngageKimberley.ca, the plant was deemed by the British Columbia Ministry of Environment to be “the ‘one of the most at risk sewage treatment plants in the East Kootenays due to its age, lack of redundancy and potential risk to recreational waters, downstream water uses and discharge into transboundary waters due to disturbed conditions and equipment failure.
The latest budget figures have a replacement cost of $95.2 million. However, the cost to the city would be 27% of that, if grants were obtained.
In 2017, the city obtained a $2.6 million grant to carry out the technical study and environmental work for a new plant using Organica Food Chain Reactor technology.
“The system is currently in use in Sechelt, British Columbia, and includes a large greenhouse and a smaller process building that will house administration and equipment. FCR technology is a stable wastewater treatment solution that requires a relatively low level of long-term operational effort and includes all the redundancy of municipal waste regulations. The new plant will also address all odor and noise issues in a contained treatment process. The new plant will support Kimberley’s climate resilience by using reclaimed water from the building itself and allow for future water reclamation opportunities.
The current PCC is located in the floodplain of the St. Mary’s River. The new wastewater treatment plant will be located above the floodplain on municipal land between Marysville Falls and the Kimberley Golf Course at 700 302nd Ave. The old factory will be decommissioned and dismantled after the construction of the new factory.
As explained in the city’s financial plan documents, an infrastructure grant application was submitted requesting $69.8 (73.33%) of the project cost, with an additional $23.2 (24.37%) being financed by loans and the remaining $2.2 million (2.3%) from the City’s reserves. It is proposed that debt payments resulting from the long-term loan be funded through the implementation of a parcel tax beginning in 2026. The City expects to hear a decision on the grant application in the spring of 2023 and voter approval of the loan will be sought through a consent vote process to be conducted in conjunction with the general local elections on October 15, 2022.