News Release - City Receives Additional Funding for Wastewater Treatment

News Release - City Receives Additional Funding for Wastewater Treatment

One of the largest infrastructure projects in Port Alberni’s recent history has received a further federal-provincial investment with the announcement of a $6.7 million grant from the Clean Water and Waste Water Fund.

The funding will help ensure the protection of public health and waterways by supporting the development of an upgraded wastewater treatment system, currently in the planning stages as part of the City’s Liquid Waste Management Plan (LWMP).

Thanks to this investment, residents of Port Alberni and the surrounding area will benefit from improved handling and treatment of wastewater from residences, businesses and schools in Port Alberni and some surrounding areas. The Somass Estuary Environmental Stewardship Protection Project will utilize a disused lagoon facility purchased by the City from Catalyst Paper, resulting in an expanded waste water treatment capacity. Improvements to waste water treatment and outflow, exceeding federal and provincial standards, will mean that people, the environment and fish will all benefit from this investment. 

The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and the Honourable Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development made the announcement, one of 144 projects through the Clean Water and Waste Water Fund.  The federal government is providing up to 50 per cent of the funding—just over $4,000,000—and the provincial government is providing $2,741,469. The City will provide the balance of funding.

When combined with the $11.2 million received in 2011 from Government of Canada’s Gas Tax Fund, the City’s wastewater treatment upgrade has now received approximately $18 million in grant funding.  Costs associated with the overall project have been estimated at approximately $22 million, excluding the acquisition costs of the former Catalyst Paper lagoon facility.   


“Safe and reliable drinking water and wastewater systems are essential infrastructure for all communities in our province. The Clean Water and Wastewater Fund enables local governments to make the critical investments in essential services their citizens rely upon. This program is another successful example of our government working together with our federal and municipal partners to best serve British Columbians.”

The Honourable Peter Fassbender,
Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development

“City Council is extremely pleased with the funding support provided by both the federal and provincial governments. This project’s innovative use of redundant industrial infrastructure reflects the City of Port Alberni’s commitment to environmental stewardship, infrastructure renewal, and innovative leadership that enables the City to live within its means while at the same time enhancing livability in our community.”

Mike Ruttan
Mayor, City of Port Alberni

Quick facts:

  • The Government of Canada allocated $225,067,721 to British Columbia under the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund, and will fund up to 50 per cent of the eligible project costs.
  • The Government of Canada will provide more than $180 billion in infrastructure funding over 12 years for public transit, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, transportation that supports trade, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.

Associated links:

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Scott Smith
Director of Development Services
City of Port Alberni
(250) 720-2808