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.

As part of the planning process, the CRD engaged with residents located within the Maliview sewer service area (“ratepayers”). A virtual open house took place on March 23, 24 and 25, 2021.  The open house provided an overview of the upgrades and borrowing options for the treatment facility.

You may view the following materials at any time: 

In 2020, the CRD estimated the cost of construction to be approximately $2.2 million. A combination of factors including escalating construction costs, inflation, availability of materials and supplies, and construction demand are expected to be reflected in an updated estimate to be provided late 2022 after detailed design work is complete.

The construction estimate and outcomes of a grant application process will inform next steps, in proceeding with the borrowing bylaw and electoral approval process anticipated in the first quarter of 2023.


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 and as well they 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 19th, 2019 which stipulated fines and punishments for noncompliance.

On October 11, 2019 the CRD outlined a three phase corrective action plant to enhance the facility and bring the facility into regulatory compliance.  The CRD has implemented the first two phases of the action plan as follows:

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 by Q4 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 fats, oils and grease on the sewer system. This campaign included mailouts to every home in the service area and was completed in early 2020.

Phase 3

The final phase of the action plan will be to complete the design and construction of the upgrade of the Maliview WWTP.  Detailed design is currently underway with a Request for Proposal for the major equipment scheduled to be issued and awarded in Fall 2022.  Once the successful major equipment supplier is selected, detailed design can be completed in late 2022/early 2023.  A construction tender package will be issued in 2023 with construction starting by the Spring.  Commissioning is planned for later in 2023, all predicated on no unexpected delays due to labour, supply chain issues or work to secure electoral assent to borrow funds to complete construction. 


The CRD is eligible for $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.  

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. Under current COVID conditions, referendum costs have escalated.

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 and CRD Board would determine this for the referendum.

Either costs associated with obtaining electoral assent will be borne by the Maliview sewer service area.

For more information, please contact:

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