During the official opening of the 100 Mile Marsh Trail on June 4, Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett took the opportunity to announce the District of 100 Mile House had been approved for a $400,000 Towns for Tomorrow grant.
The British Columbia government program is aimed at helping smaller communities and regional districts work on infrastructure projects, including water and sewer.
Last November, councillors gave staff approval to apply for an infrastructure grant to help with sewage effluent disposal through the construction of a rapid infiltration basin.
Seven months later, 100 Mile received the maximum grant allowed for communities with a population less than 5,000.
Barnett says it is great 100 Mile is receiving these funds for an infrastructure project.
“Good, healthy water and sewer systems are a necessity to keep our communities safe.
This funding helps local communities keep taxes down.”
Now that the grant has been approved for the estimated $500,000 project, the district council will draw its mandatory 20 per cent contribution by dipping into its reserves.
Noting municipal sewage continues to slowly increase over the years, district operations director Garry Laursen says staff had been getting rid of excess treated effluent by providing spray irrigation to 100 Mile Ranch and spraying on district-owned property.
However, he explains it doesn’t keep up with the amount being produced and cannot be used in the winter months.
Laursen says the new rapid infiltration basin will take care of all of the sewage in a self-contained, closed system.
The rapid infiltration basin, a lagoon system comprised of four cells that are 1,000 square metres each, will be constructed at the Stevenson Lake sewer treatment plant on Canim Lake-Hendrix Road. Laursen notes only one or two of the new cells will be used at any one time.
Laursen explains there are two large aerated ponds for initial effluent treatment, which are connected to another large storage lagoon that holds the treated effluent for spray irrigation purposes, and then there would be the new rapid infiltration basin, which will have a base of coarser material to allow for better percolation.
He adds percolation and evaporation will keep up with effluent inflow due to increased water usage in the district.
Noting part of the project involves upgrading pumps, Laursen says they can’t do that until the end of the spray irrigation season (by the end of October) because the district has a contract with 100 Mile Ranch.
“Once their season is over, then we can put the pumps in as long as everything else is ready. If that’s ready, then we only have to upgrade the pumps and we’re good to go.”
Laursen says he hopes to have the project completed by the end of the year.