Sechelt’s new wastewater treatment plant was shined up and shown off during an invite-only dedication ceremony on May 21 that revealed the plant’s new name.
“We’re calling it the Sechelt Water Resource Centre because we look at this system as a resource,” Sechelt Mayor John Henderson told the crowd of about 40 gathered. “It’s an opportunity for us to take this water and turn it into a resource that we can use and to that extent [project coordinator] Paul Nash is already working with some ‘clients’ as we’re calling them, people who will take the output, and it won’t go out into the Georgia Strait like Victoria. It will go to agricultural uses, industrial uses and the like.”
Henderson addressed the discontent by some in the community over the $25-million treatment plant’s location and use of innovative technology like Organica.
He said the location was left up to the proponents and that the Ebbtide site made sense because the current pipes all converge in that area. He also said Organica was an innovative idea “proven elsewhere” that helped keep down the treatment plant’s footprint.
“New to North America but already in use in Europe and Asia, the Organica treatment system makes use of growing plants,” Henderson said. “The plant roots provide a medium on which beneficial bacteria and organisms that aid in waste digestion live, resulting in better treatment.”
West Vancouver - Sunshine Coast - Sea to Sky Country member of Parliament John Weston was on hand to help celebrate and said he was excited to see Sechelt build something that’s a “first in Canada.”
“Other municipalities and governments are starting to look at this already and it’s just being built,” Weston said.
He too addressed the discontent by some in the community during his speech.
“Think about the guts it has taken for all of you councillors and leaders in the community to stand up against the inevitable opposition, because there’s always two sides to a story. And for every innovative step there has to be courage involved,” he said. “I understand that some people may have had doubts, but given the state-of-the-art, noiseless, odourless facility that you have, I believe the doubters will come to believe.”
Mike Reinders, president of Maple Reinders, which received the contract to build the new treatment plant, also defended the build.
“The quality is incredible. There won’t be any leaks. It is going to work,” Reinders said. “[Organica] is proven technology in Europe so it isn’t as if this is an experiment. This is something that’s going to work. It’s worked elsewhere, it’s going to work here. People are going to sit up and take notice of this. There are going to be awards for this place.”
Following the speeches and dedication of the Sechelt Water Resource Centre, guests were served lunch and offered tours of the new facility, which should be ready to start taking the District’s wastewater at the end of October.
© Coast Reporter