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Wastewater Upgrades

This page was last reviewed on November 25, 2022.

Wastewater Upgrades Coming to the Village


The Village of Cumberland is getting started on required upgrades to their wastewater treatment system that will meet provincial standards, as well as fulfill environmental goals to remove man-made toxins, restore degraded ecosystems and release safe water into Maple Lake Creek and the Trent River.

The Wastewater Upgrades Project is a result of years of careful planning and community input to develop a sustainable treatment system in a region with unique challenges which include high winter wet weather flows, extremely dry summer conditions and a sensitive downstream habitat.

This is a truly “made in Cumberland” solution, taking into consideration factors of affordability, sustainability, and social benefits.

About the Wastewater Upgrades

The Wastewater Upgrades Project is about improving the treatment provided by the current lagoon system, rather than building a mechanical treatment plant. In effect, it is to “reinvent” the lagoons rather than replace them.

This project includes two phases. with the lagoon upgrades as the primary focus.

PHASE 1: Lagoon Upgrades (2022-2023). These are the main treatment improvements, to meet provincial effluent and reliability standards – works include:

  1. Improvements to wastewater screening,
  2. Changing the flow path in the lagoons and adding extra aeration
  3. Adding nutrients for phosphorus removal
  4. Additional environmentally friendly disinfection
  5. Ancillary works such as an operator’s building, workshop, improved instrumentation, site security, etc.

PHASE 2: Ancillary Works (Est. 2023-2024). These are the additional aspirational improvements identified through the planning process that will improve treatment but are not required by regulation. This includes (for example):

  1. Adding Tertiary Filtration to the treatment works.
  2. Biochar Media Reed Bed. A constructed wetland that uses plants and biochar (charcoal) to “polish” the treated water and filter out contaminants such as pharmaceuticals.
  3. Wetland Enhancement. Using the reed bed treated water to irrigate an area of the existing natural wetlands for further polishing of the water by dispersed flow into the creek.
  4. Seismic Upgrades: Improving Lagoons by infilling existing Maple Lake Creek channel and regarding berm walls.
  5. Maple Lake Creek Improvements: Naturalization of the Maple Lake Creek channel by adding to east side of wetland area and introducing natural form weirs and fishways.

For more detailed information, review the project backgrounder.

What You Need to Know

  • This is the largest capital project undertaken by the Village of Cumberland to date, with a total projected cost of $9.7 million.
  • Grants will pay for a majority of this project. Here is a breakdown of funding:
    • Canada – BC investing in Canada Infrastructure Program Federal contribution $3.9 million
    • Canada – BC investing in Canada Infrastructure Program Provincial contribution $3.2 million
    • Federation of Canadian Municipalities “Green Municipal Fund” – Loan of $2.26 million and grant of $0.34 million
  • This combination of engineered and naturalized systems will have lower operating costs than a traditional mechanical wastewater treatment system.
  • Lagoon upgrades will support future population growth to 7,000 people.
  • Pre-construction activities will begin in the spring 2022, with major construction beginning in summer 2022. Estimated completion in 2023.
  • Some trails in the area will be rerouted to keep the public safe, so look for signage and check website to stay updated on closures.

Community Events

There are no current events planned. Stay tuned for future updates!

Community Members learn more about the upcoming upgrades in June 2022.

Project News

  • Nov. 2022: Wastewater Upgrades Project Newsletter #3 (Nov. 2022)
  • June 2022: Community Update hosted on site to provide latest information about upcoming construction.
  • April 2022: Tree removal completed to make room for construction, completed infrastructure, fencing and to prevent overgrowth from interfering with the operations of the lagoons.
  • Mar. 2022: Wastewater Upgrades Project Newsletter #2 (Mar. 2022)
  • Sept 2021: Wastewater Upgrades Project Newsletter #1 (Sept. 2021)
  • Dec. 2021: Trail Work Complete – Work on a new trail near the wastewater treatment facility was completed in early December. The new trail offers a safe route in the area connecting to existing trails – and will serve as a replacement for the trail that currently accesses the wastewater facility, which will need to be closed during construction in 2022.

Learn More

Get in touch: email or call: 250-336-2291

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