Phase 1: Effluent Disposal, Resolving Health and Environmental Issues
The award from the CWWF provides $1.23 million towards the first phase of upgrades for the Mesachie Lake Sewer System. Phase 1, the current proposed upgrade, includes the installation of two pump stations at the two existing septic tanks, the construction of a pressurized sewer pipe to transport the septic tank effluent from the pump stations to a new disposal field and the construction of a new disposal field at the proposed site south-east of Honeymoon Bay. This phase would resolve the current and pressing public health and environmental issues with the existing disposal fields located on Forestry Road and near Bear Lake.
The land for the disposal field, located south-east of Honeymoon Bay, is intended to be given to the CVRD by Couverdon (Timberwest), as a community amenity arising from their development proposal. At approximately 20 acres (or 8 hectares), the proposed site is large enough to provide adequate disposal capacity. Locating the disposal field between Mesachie Lake and Honeymoon Bay would be the first step towards a centrally located sewer system with the potential to serve more customers in and around Mesachie Lake and Honeymoon Bay. A larger system, with more customers, is more economical and efficient to operate and maintain, and lowers the individual customer cost.
The customers of Phase 1 are the 49 existing customers of the Mesachie Lake Sewer System. After construction is complete, new customers may join the sewer system. The costs for these new connections are not part of the project cost. New customers would be required to pay the necessary fees to join the sewer service area, as well as any costs associated with physically connecting and extending the sewer main. The connection fee has yet to be determined.
The total project cost for Phase 1 is $1,477,793. Conditions of the grant require that the customers of the system fund 17% of the total project cost, $251,226. Gas tax funding may not be used to pay this portion due to limits to the total proportion of Federal funding allowed. The awarded amount from the grant covers the remainder of the project cost, $1,226,567.
These upgrades have additional operational & maintenance and borrowing costs to the customers. Operational & maintenance costs include system monitoring to comply with regulations and power to supply the pump stations and electronics. Borrowing costs cover the debt payment for the necessary customer-funded 17% of the total project cost. The exact costs will be determined by the borrowing term, to be chosen by the customers of the system.
Phase 2: Collection System, Resolving System Failures
Phase 2 is a future phase that would connect the individual properties of the existing 49 customers of the Mesachie Lake Sewer System to the pressurized sewer pipe installed in Phase 1. This phase would resolve the issues with the existing collection system, such as blockages and resulting sewage back-ups. Your Electoral Area Director, Ian Morrison, has recommended that the Board allocate $200,000 (100% remaining Area F Gas tax funding) to help pay for Phase 2.
Future phases include the possibility of a treatment plant and further expansion of the sewer service area. If approved by the community, developments like Pebblewest and Couverdon would require sewer servicing. The developments could potentially provide a treatment plant for the sewer system and some collection infrastructure in Honeymoon Bay. Further collection infrastructure could be provided by existing properties joining the sewer system. Future phases could be funded by developers, new customers joining the sewer system, or possibly a new Honeymoon Bay sewer service area. Additional customers improve financial stability and sustainability.