The District of Kent’s wastewater treatment plant. (Grace Kennedy/The Observer)

The District of Kent’s wastewater treatment plant. (Grace Kennedy/The Observer)

Agassiz wastewater treatment plant upgrade to go ahead

The second digester will be brought into service to help the district meet municipal regulations

Upgrades to the District of Kent’s wastewater treatment plant will be going ahead without provincial or federal funding.

In 2019, the district received a $7,500 grant to look at how the treatment plant could be improved.

RELATED: Kent wastewater plant gets $7,500 grant for improvement study

The improvements, which were put to an RFP back in 2019, were based around the plant’s aerobic digester, which uses a biological digestion process to separate and break down solids in wastewater.

Kent estimates that 318 cubic metres of sewage will flow through the district’s sewer system by 2040. Currently, the main digester has the capacity to handle 185 cubic metres, which is enough for the current volume of sewage. The second digester is currently being used as a holding tank for sludge.

In order for the District of Kent’s wastewater treatment plant to follow municipal waste regulations, the plant’s aerobic digesters need to be able to treat at least half of the sewage flowing through the plant even when the largest unit is out of service.

To meet this requirement, the second digester would need to be put into service and one of the plant’s empty chlorine tanks would need to be converted to handle sludge.

RELATED: ‘Poop tracker’ launches as researchers test Lower Mainland sewage water for COVID-19

Onsite Engineering Ltd. was awarded the contract to design the plan to bring the second digester into service. This plan included installing new pumps and aeration grids, among other things.

In the fall of 2020, the District of Kent applied for a grant to help fund the project. However, the district did not receive that grant money.

Because of the importance of having both digesters online, Kent staff have recommended the district go ahead with the project without grant funding.

Onsite will be retained to complete the construction phase of the project. The district will pay $16,180 for Onsite to provide tender services, contract administration, construction inspection and post-construction services. Funding for this project has already been included in the 2021 capital budget.

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