Prior to the construction of the Core Area Wastewater Treatment System, all wastewater from the Core Area was screened before being discharged into the marine environment from one of two outfalls, located at Clover Point and Macaulay Point. No other treatment occurred and it made the CRD the last major coastal community in North America to discharge untreated sewage into the marine environment.

In 2012, new federal and provincial regulations were put in place which required a minimum of secondary treatment for wastewater by December 31, 2020.

Bringing wastewater treatment to the CRD’s core area was a complex undertaking which went through a number of changes before the current system was put in place.

In 2013, the CRD formed the Seaterra Commission to oversee the design and construction of the core area’s wastewater treatment program. However, in April 2014, the rezoning application for McLoughlin Point did not meet the zoning requirements for Esquimalt and the Seaterra Commission was put on hold while further consultation was conducted and other wastewater treatment options were considered.

The Core Area Wastewater Treatment Project Board was established by the CRD in May 2016 and was tasked with reviewing the wastewater treatment issues and providing recommended solutions.

The Project Board reviewed the previous technical work and extensive public commentary and developed a methodology to review and evaluate wastewater treatment options. The Project Board developed detailed cost estimates for short-listed options, ranked the short list using triple bottom line (economic, social and environmental) criteria, and identified the best option.

The CRD board approved the recommended option and business case, the basis of what has become the Core Area Wastewater Treatment System, in September 2016.

In order to meet the federal regulations for treatment by December 31, 2020, the Project schedule was ambitious. It needed to plan, procure, construct and commission the largest capital project undertaken to date by the CRD within five years.

In 2017, the Project made the important transition from the planning phase to the construction phase. The contract for the McLoughlin Point Wastewater Treatment Project was awarded in April 2017 to Harbour Resource Partners and construction began with blasting and excavation at McLoughlin Point and drilling of the harbour crossing at Ogden Point.

By 2018 construction was well underway on all of the major components of the Project including, the McLoughlin Point Wastewater Treatment Plant, the Residuals Treatment Facility, the Clover Point Pump Station, the Clover Forcemain, the Macualay Point Pump Station and Forcemain and the Residual Solids Conveyance Line.

The height of construction on the Wastewater Treatment Project took place in 2019 with work happening across three municipalities: Esquimalt, Victoria and Saanich.

In 2020, the majority of construction was completed and the Project achieved its goal of treating the Core Area’s wastewater by December 31, 2020.

Over 2.5 million hours were worked on the Wastewater Treatment Project, by eleven major contractors to achieve this goal and at the peak of construction there were over 650 people working at 24 different construction sites.

Over 35 km of pipes were installed to carry wastewater from across the core area to the McLoughlin Point Wastewater Treatment Plant, and residual solids to the Residuals Treatment Facility at Hartland Landfill.

A video was put together to celebrate the Wastewater Treatment Project beginning to treat wastewater and exceeding regulatory requirements

Contact Us

Core Area Wastewater Treatment General Inquiries, Odour Concerns & Emergencies