Electoral Area H residents expressed their opposition to the marine outfall component of the $10.7M Bowser Village Wastewater Project. — File photo

Electoral Area H residents expressed their opposition to the marine outfall component of the $10.7M Bowser Village Wastewater Project. — File photo

Search is on for parties to build $10.7M Bowser sewage project

Further investigation of land disposal option rejected by RDN board

The Regional District of Nanaimo has no plans to further investigate land disposal for the Bowser Village Centre Wastewater Project.

New Electoral Area H (Shaw Hill, Qualicum Bay, Deep Bay, Bowser) director, Stuart McLean, made a motion last December to get staff to report on a land disposal option. On Jan. 22, another motion was also made that $100,000 of Area H Community Works funds be allocated to commission a qualified professional with no involvement with the project to explore options for a ground-based disposal system. However, the RDN board voted against it.

Despite opposition by residents to the project’s plan to discharge treated wastewater into the ocean, the RDN has now issued a request for qualifications from parties interested in constructing the wastewater facility. The scope of the work entails construction of a wastewater treatment plant, a collection system, and a marine outfall for treated effluent.

The project will cost $10.7 million. In March 2017, it was awarded $7.6 million from the Clean Water and Wastewater fund with the condition that the sewer system be in place by March 31, 2019. The RDN board directed staff to secure an extension from the federal and provincial government and was successfully granted a new deadline of March 31, 2020 to complete the facility.

Once the project is completed, only 99 parcels located in the Bowser Village Centre will benefit from it but it will have the capability of accommodating more properties in the future.

Residents out of the service wastewater service area have been protesting the marine outfall component of the project and had been calling for a land disposal option. They fear it will adversely affect the environment and negatively impact the shellfish industry in the area.

To appease the concerns of residents, the RDN decided to extend the length of the outfall by 400 metres (1,300 feet) longer than the original design. It will sit on the ocean floor at a depth of about 65 metres (213 feet). The outfall will be roughly 2,700 metres (8,860 feet) long and 2,350 metres (7,700 feet) from the shore.