Work is set to begin for major infrastructure upgrades out at the city lagoons. Photo courtesy City of Cranbrook.

Work set to begin for major upgrades at city wastewater lagoons

A major infrastructure project to upgrade the city’s wastewater lagoon is expected to begin by the end of the month.

The upgrades, which involves replacing all the piping between and under the lagoon cells and installing a new trunk main that enters the lagoons from the intersection of Victoria Ave and Highway 3, will increase the quality of effluent treated, according to a city news release.

Additionally, further improvements will be made to increase efficiency of treatment operations as well as to extend the site’s lifespan.

The $8.1 million project is being significantly funded by senior levels of government, with $4.1 million coming from the federal government and $3.2 million from the provincial government, while the city is contributing $822,066.

“Rural communities are an integral part of our country, and they have been impacted by COVID-19 in unprecedented ways,” said Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development. “Water is life – this is why upgrades for community facilities like Cranbrook’s Wastewater Lagoons and Influent Trunk Main is so important to help communities stay strong, vibrant, and resilient. It is equally important that we continue investing in vital water infrastructure.”

“This investment will ensure that the people of Cranbrook will have up-to-date wastewater treatment, putting the environment and the health of the community first,” said Josie Osborne, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “Our government is committed to supporting small communities and rural areas to create opportunities for them to build the public infrastructure they need.”

The city acknowledges the contributions from both the federal and provincial levels of governments.

“This is a project that is important to the City’s wastewater system to complete. Without this funding from the Government of Canada and the Province of BC, it would have been very difficult for us to do,” says Mayor Lee Pratt. “We are very thankful for the funding and are very glad that we can proceed at this time and do the necessary repairs that need to be done.”

When work gets underway, traffic is expected to be impacted in several areas of the community, especially at the Victoria Ave and Highway 3 intersection, according to the city.