Maliview Wastewater System Infrastructure Upgrade

The Capital Regional District (CRD) is in the process of upgrading the Maliview wastewater system on Salt Spring Island to comply with provincial requirements, federal wastewater regulations and the Fisheries Act.

The project received grant funding in 2022 and detailed design work is now underway. Before construction can begin, rate payers will need to approve a borrowing bylaw to secure funds for the share of funds they remain responsible for. To learn more, please read:


The Maliview Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) is a 60 m3/day Rotating Biological Contactor (RBC) secondary treatment plant that discharges treated effluent into the marine receiving environment of Trincomali Channel.

The Maliview WWTP has been experiencing challenges in consistently meeting regulatory requirements.

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) officers inspected the Maliview WWTP on August 22, 2019, and collected effluent samples for toxicity testing. The samples failed both LT50 and LC50 Rainbow Trout lethality analyses. The samples also contained approximately 1.5 times greater ammonia concentration than the acutely lethal concentration to rainbow trout.

The CRD was issued federal warnings from the Environment and Climate Change Canada Enforcement Branch on September 19, 2019, which stipulated fines and punishments for noncompliance.

On October 11, 2019, the CRD outlined a three-phase corrective action plan to enhance the facility and bring it into regulatory compliance. The CRD has implemented the first two phases of the action plan and is now in Phase 3.

Phase 1

The CRD met with the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) of the existing RBC who provided the following recommendations which have been implemented.

  • Increased the frequency of waste sludge hauling to reduce solids retention time, which in turn improved the organic removal efficiency of the RBC.
  • Increased the fats, oils and grease (FOG) removal frequency which improved the organic removal efficiency of the RBC.
  • Removed some biomass from the first stage of the RBC which promoted a healthy re-growth of biofilm on the RBC contactor discs.
  • Remedied the short circuiting of the return activated sludge from the primary clarifier to the secondary clarifier.
  • Reassessed plant performance and efficiency once all actions were completed.

These actions improved the effluent quality from the WWTP. However, there are still periodic exceedances of the effluent quality criteria due to high influent loading of Total Suspended Solids (TSS) and Biological Oxygen Demand (OD) to the facility.

Phase 2

The CRD retained Associated Engineering (B.C.) Ltd. (AE) to assess the WWTP upgrade engineering design basis, treatment technology options analysis, and conceptual design. This work was completed in 2020. The secondary treatment technology selected is Moving Bed Biofilm Reactor (MBBR) which is being advanced to further costing and design stages.  AE’s scope of services included:

  • Review of the existing Asset Management Plan and past engineering studies.
  • Review and/or collect influent flow and quality data to develop a design basis to inform future stages of design.
  • Review site constraints and characteristics to inform future stages of design.
  • Develop and recommend a conceptual design for wither augmenting the existing WWWTP or upgrading to a new technology.

The CRD also completed a public outreach campaign with an intent to educate the wastewater system users about the negative impacts of FOG on the sewer system. This campaign included mailouts to every home in the service area and was completed in early 2020.

In 2021, the CRD engaged with residents located within the Maliview sewer service area ("ratepayers"). A virtual open house provided an overview of the upgrades and borrowing options for the treatment facility.
You may view the following materials at any time: 

Phase 3

The current and final phase of the action plan is to complete the design and construction of the upgrade of the Maliview WWTP.

This phase includes several stages the CRD must follow, such as equipment procurement, detailed design, final consultation with the Ministry of Environment and finally construction and commissioning. 

The successful major equipment supplier has been selected and detailed design work is underway. Next, an updated Class A construction estimate will inform creation of a borrowing bylaw. Any unexpected delays due to labour, supply chain issues or work to secure electoral assent to borrow funds may impact the construction start date.


The CRD has secured $1,989,000 in joint federal-provincial funding through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program – Rural and Northern Communities Program. This funding will enable completion of upgrades while significantly reducing costs to be covered by local ratepayers.

Any decision to borrow funds would require an electoral assent process.  The CRD Board is responsible for receiving recommendations and selecting which of the following options is most suitable:

Alternative Approval Process (AAP) is most commonly used in relation to long‑term borrowing bylaws as it is a less expensive option than using a referendum. Unless 10% of the affected electors sign a counter-petition opposing the bylaw, the bylaw to borrow will obtain approval to proceed. An AAP would take approximately six months and would cost approximately $20,000.

Referendum Process is used to seek approval by assent of the electors, where a majority of the valid votes are counted in favour of the bylaw to fund a project. Typically, a referendum question is developed and then reviewed by the Inspector of Municipalities at the province, requesting the electors to approve the borrowing of a specified amount of funds for the project. A referendum would take approximately seven months and would cost approximately $60,000.

An advance poll is typically held in the week prior to the referendum voting date. Absentee (mail-in) ballots are permitted under the Local Government Act, but the Maliview Sewer Local Service Commission and CRD Board would determine this for the referendum.

The cost of either option for obtaining electoral assent will be paid for by the Maliview sewer service area.

For more information, please contact:

Karla Campbell, Senior Manager
Salt Spring Island Administration
Tel: 250.538.4300