When it comes to liquid waste most people know it flows downhill and pay day is every Friday.
But there is a third axiom now being touted by the City of Rossland.
The city—through its representative on the Joint Local Advisory Liquid Waste Management steering committee, Kathy Wallace—has asked the partners in the regional service to consider a waste treatment facility for Rossland.
The city is proposing the construction of a stand-alone liquid waste treatment plant in Rossland (option 3A), and some upgrades to the existing plant in Waneta, as there is a potential likelihood it could benefit the partners of Trail, Warfield, Area B and the Golden City.
Towards that end, Wallace gained approval on a motion—Trail was against it—for Regional District of Kootenay Boundary staff to provide an estimate on what a feasibility study would cost for a rapid infiltration plant to be constructed in Rossland.
There was some hesitancy about a delay to the process that has been underway since 2008, but a service review requested by the City of Trail two years ago had already delayed the process.
“Given that this is a very expensive project and so essential for the long term viability of our community, let’s get it right,” Wallace said. “That’s what Rossland is saying.”
Currently there is a primary treatment plant shared between Rossland, Warfield and Trail in Waneta called the Columbia Pollution Control Centre.
It’s the last primary treatment plant left in B.C. that is going into fresh water. Right now the plant is non compliant with federal and provincial regulations, but the regional Liquid Waste Management Plan planning process that started in 2008 questioned how to bring that plant up to regulation.
However, there are long term capacity concerns at the existing plant, whether it will have enough capacity for decades into the future, even with significant upgrades, Wallace said.
The first phase of planning for liquid waste was identification of options and three were put on the table: Upgrading the existing plant where it is; build a brand new facility for somewhere in the Columbia Gardens area (at that time Fruitvale and Montrose were participating in the process); and a stand alone plant to serve the Rossland population, but still as a piece of the regional service.
The option 3A (for Rossland) was dropped at the end of stage one when Fruitvale and Montrose were still involved in the planning.
After a very formal process to review the service at the request of the City of Trail, in early 2013 both Montrose and Fruitvale decided not to participate in the process. Montrose has a functioning plant, and Fruitvale was given the permission by the Ministry of Environment to upgrade what it had.
“So neither one felt the need to join the regional service,” said Wallace. “What Rossland is proposing is that now, without those participants, option three becomes a more viable option than option two.”
During stage two planning, Mayor Greg Granstrom brought a task force committee together in Rossland, with a number of community members who had the expertise and the technical wherewithal to put together a proposal for a liquid waste facility in the city.
At the last liquid waste steering committee meeting Wallace presented those reasons and why option 3A was a much more viable option than option two. The other options include upgrading the Columbia Pollution Control Centre or building a new plant in the Waneta area.
“But that is where Rossland said option two does not make sense. If we don’t have those other two participants, then option three becomes a better option,” she said.
An answer from the regional district is expected to take place in the fall and the steering committee will decide on whether it is willing to spend money on a feasibility study for option 3A. Public consultation on the options available will take place after that.
Letter to the RDKB from the City of Rossland
Dear Mr. MacLean:
The council of the City of Rossland has committed to partnering with other communities in order to achieve synergies and cost benefits.
As well, the council is responsible for and committed to doing their due diligence to ensure that their stakeholders are fully informed and understand the cost, benefits and challenges that accompany a Liquid Waste Management Plan.
At the Joint Local Advisory Liquid Waste Management Meeting of March 7, 2013, the representatives from Rossland expressed some concerns in regards to the LWMP draft two.
I would like to take this opportunity to clarify the City’s position.
As you and I have discussed, we are all aware that in order to be fully informed and to have buy-in, all of the stakeholders (Trail, Warfield, Rossland and Area B) have to be in a position to advise their stakeholders as to what the impact is to them.
We believe that the cost allocation and future governance have to be considered and addressed before going to public consultation. All of our stakeholders will deserve to know what they will be committing to and be satisfied that the model is fair and equitable.
The City of Rossland believes that a stand-alone plant in Rossland (option 3A) needs to be revisited as there is a potential likelihood that it can benefit the three remaining communities.
Some points for consideration:
• less flow than anticipated at stage 1
• significantly lower population projections
• a 26 per cent water use reduction from the City of Rossland
• I and I reduction measures undertaken
• if the Rossland effluent is not included, there should be a reduction to the burden on existing infrastructure while freeing up space for future expansion
• reduced footprint at the current site through sale of land has generated increased costs for upgrades
• option 3A is less costly than option 2A (in stage 1)
Therefore, to ensure that the planning process succeeds and is accountable to the stakeholders and to ensure that the communities are fully informed, the city is respectfully requesting that option 3A with detailed costing be reintroduced in stage 2.
As well, the city is requesting that governance and cost allocation for the funding is introduced in the planning process before the LWMP is rolled out to the public.