Core Area Wastewater Treatment

In December 2020 the Capital Regional District announced that it is providing tertiary treatment for wastewater from the core area municipalities of Victoria, Esquimalt, Saanich, Oak Bay, View Royal, Langford and Colwood, and the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations.

McLoughlin Point Wastewater Treatment Plant

Situated at the entrance of Victoria harbor, the design of the McLoughlin Point Wastewater Treatment Plant respects the setting and incorporates the highest standards of design, materials and aesthetics. The tertiary wastewater treatment plant at McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt is designed to minimize visual impacts from the water and includes a multi-level green roof, mature landscaping, an observation deck, and education space. The plant was also built to post-disaster standards so it will remain operational following a major earthquake.


The plant is controlled and monitored 24/7 by specialized wastewater professionals. The plant can treat up to 108 megalitres of wastewater per day, which is enough capacity to accommodate current and future population growth needs. When wastewater arrives at the plant, it goes through primary, secondary and tertiary treatment before it is discharged into the ocean through a new outfall pipe located approximately 2km from shore and buried 60m deep. 

Types of Wastewater Treatment

  • Primary: The physical separation of solids from wastewater
  • Secondary: The biological process that removes dissolved and suspended organic compounds in wastewater
  • Tertiary: The physical process that reduces solids that remain after the secondary treatment process


In accordance with the Township of Esquimalt’s Zoning Bylaw, operational noise from the McLoughlin Point Wastewater Treatment Plant does not exceed 60 decibels (dBA) outside of the plant’s property line (which is similar to an air conditioner).


The McLoughlin Point Wastewater Treatment Plant was designed so there would be no significant odour impacts to nearby residents.   The plant utilizes a layered approach to ensure the minimization of odours including:

  • Using state-of-the-art odour control technologies to detect odours 
  • 24-hour odour control monitoring system
  • Detailed procedures for responding to odour issues, in the unlikely event that one occurs


The CRD is in the preliminary planning stages for public tours of the plant.  Please check back later for updated information on tours.

Residuals Treatment Facility

Residual solids from the McLoughlin Point Wastewater Treatment Plant are piped to the Residuals Treatment Facility at Hartland Landfill, where they are treated and turned into what are known as Class A biosolids. These biosolids are a high quality by-product suitable for beneficial use. The beneficial use of the biosolids has been determined by the CRD through a separate process. Read more >>

Clover Point Pump Station

The Clover Point Pump Station was expanded to pump wastewater to the McLoughlin Point Wastewater Treatment Plant and provides bypass pumping to the existing outfall during storm events. The original pump station was built in the 1970s and pumped sewage directly into the ocean. 

The Clover Point Pump Station expansion is underground and below the grade of the adjacent section of Dallas Road. The expanded facility has been constructed out of materials that allow it to blend with the existing facility and surrounding area. It also includes upgraded odour and noise control features, such that there will be no discernible odour or noise to residents once the commissioning phase is complete and the pump station is fully operational.

A number of public amenities were added as part of the construction of the expansion, such as public washrooms, pedestrian and bicycle paths, bicycle facilities, a public plaza, street furniture and road intersection improvements.

Clover Forcemain

The Clover Forcemain transports wastewater from the Clover Point Pump Station to the McLoughlin Point Wastewater Treatment Plant. The pipe runs along Dallas Road from Clover Point to Ogden Point, where it connects to the Victoria cross-harbour undersea pipe.

A cycle path was built to connect Ogden Point to Clover Point along the forcemain route. Other infrastructure improvements built along the route included new sidewalks, benches, bike racks and wayfinding signage.

Macaulay Point Pump Station

The new Macaulay Point Pump Station pumps wastewater from western core area municipalities and the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations to the McLoughlin Point Wastewater Treatment Plant for tertiary treatment. It was built to replace the original pump station that pumped sewage directly into the ocean. The Macaulay Forcemain is the 1350mm diameter pipe that connects the Macaulay Point Pump Station to the McLoughlin Point Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The new Macaulay Point Pump Station will continue to provide bypass pumping to the Macaulay Point outfall during heavy rainfall

The design for the pump station considers its location on the waterfront, greatly improving the visual impact of the building and creating a park-like amenity for the community to enjoy. The new pump station is mostly below-grade with one storey above ground and a pitched roof that slopes towards the ocean. The design applies Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) principles including a rain garden, native plants to reduce irrigation requirements, low-level lighting to minimize light pollution, and a green roof.

Residuals Solids Conveyance Line

The Residual Solids Conveyance Line (RSCL) includes two pipes along with three small pump stations. The first pipe is 250mm (10 inches) in diameter and 19.3km long, and transports residual solids from the McLoughlin Point Wastewater Treatment Plant to the Residuals Treatment Facility for treatment. The second pipe is 300mm (12 inches) in diameter and 12.4km long, and returns the liquid removed from the residual solids during the treatment process to the Marigold Pump Station. From there it is returned to the McLoughlin Point Wastewater Treatment Plant through the existing conveyance system.

The three pump stations are used to move the wastewater from a lower elevation to a higher elevation. They are within the road right-of-way and are located at:

  • Interurban Road and Courtland Avenue
  • Interurban Rail Trail near West Saanich Road and Observatory Road
  • Willis Point Road within the footprint of the Hartland Landfill

The pump stations are designed with state-of-the-art odour control systems that contain and suppress odour so  there is no discernible odour in the community. Operating noise is minimal and complies with District of Saanich standard practice. Landscaping features include a variety of trees, shrubs and ground coverings that will be planted and maintained.               

Arbutus Attenuation Tank

The Arbutus Attenuation Tank, located on CRD-owned land in Haro Woods, is a 5,000m3 underground concrete tank that will temporarily store wastewater flows during high volume storm events to reduce the number of sewer overflows. High volume storm events usually occur in the winter and during these events excess wet weather flows will be diverted into the Arbutus Attenuation Tank. Once the high storm flow has passed, the tank will empty back into the existing sewer system to the Clover Point Pump Station and then to the McLoughlin Point Wastewater Treatment Plant for tertiary treatment.

Once the tank is emptied, an automatic cleaning system will be activated to clean the floors, walls and columns of the tank. CRD staff inspect the tank after each use to ensure it is cleaned and that all wastewater has drained back into the sewer system. The temporary storage of wastewater will reduce the number of overflows and impacts along the coastline. The tank will be kept under negative air pressure to draw air within the tank directly into an activated carbon absorber system that will contain and suppress potential odours.

Construction of the tank began in summer 2019 and was completed in December 2021.

Trent Forcemain

The Trent Forcemain includes 1.9 km of pipe installed from the intersection of Chandler Ave and St Charles Street to the Clover Point Pump Station.

The eastern branch of the Capital Regional District’s core area conveyance system collects wastewater from Saanich, Oak Bay, and Victoria, directing it to the Clover Point Pump Station. The Trent Forcemain construction will increase the capacity of this system and reduce wet weather overflows.

Construction began in February 2020 and was completed in 2021.

Core Area Wastewater Updates

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