District of Clearwater public works employee Bryan Lipp stands next to the new septage treatment facility shortly after it opened in 2016. The facility is located next to the sewage lagoons on the Flats. Sludge from septic tanks is pumped from trucks into the nipple on the right side of the photo. It is then is pre-treated in the tank on the left before going into the lagoons.

Tax money approved for Clearwater septage facilities

By Keith McNeill

By Keith McNeill

“We’re in the position where we don’t have much choice.”

That was the assessment of chief administrative officer Leslie Groulx after Thompson-Nicola Regional District asked District of Clearwater for another $15,000 to complete work to improve the septage facilities located on the Flats.

Groulx was speaking during a Clearwater town council meeting held Nov. 7.

The septage facility has been and is being built by the regional district but is operated by the municipality.

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It is located next to the District’s sewage treatment lagoon and receives waste from septic tanks throughout the upper North Thompson Valley.

The bids for winterization and to construct an equalization basin came in at higher than expected, said TNRD CAO Sukh Gill in an email to Groulx.

The final bid was $450,000 while the funds in place to do the work totaled $410,000.

Sukh therefore requested that District of Clearwater plus TNRD Area A (Wells Gray Country) and Area O (Lower North Thompson) each contribute $15,000 from their federal gas tax funds.

Groulx pointed out that the contract has already been awarded and that the work needs to be done by March 31 in order to qualify for the other grants received.

Mayor John Harwood noted that the facility had originally not been designed to receive septage during the winter. That has since proved impractical, hence the need for the upgrades.

Although septage from Area B (Thompson Headwaters) also is received by the facility in Clearwater, Blue River and Avola are not being asked to contribute as they have no more federal Gas Tax money left.

Town council approved the expenditure for the septage facility upgrades.

During a TNRD board meeting held Thursday, Nov. 9, the directors approved the expenditure of $30,000 from federal Gas Tax revenues to be allocated evenly between Electoral Area A (Wells Gray Country) and Electoral Area O (Lower North Thompson), to fund upgrades to the Clearwater septage receiving station.

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