$9-million grant expands sewer access for residents

November 23, 2021

News Release

The City will receive funding worth more than $9 million through the ICIP-Green Infrastructure grant program. 

The Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, along with $3.3 million available in collected connection area reserves held by the City, will be used to fund construction of sewer projects in three areas currently on septic: Central Rutland, Rio/Rialto and the Mission Creek crossing for future servicing of the Hall Road area. 

“This $9 million grant will support sewer infrastructure expansion to replace more than 630 of the approximately 2,500 septic systems still in use in urban areas within our city limits,” said Mayor Colin Basran. “It’s another great example of the strong relationships we’ve developed with other levels of government that enable us to secure these multi-million-dollar grants. These external funding sources support Council and community priorities and enables us to provide critical public infrastructure to residents.”

Staff continuously look for opportunities to remove properties off septic and connect them to the sanitary sewer system. Serviced properties benefit from a safe, reliable and environmentally sustainable wastewater treatment and effluent disposal system. There are significant environmental benefits of eliminating septic systems as the City’s system collects and treats wastewater into economically and environmentally friendly by-products: fresh water and compost. The compost is sold or used as soil amendments, and high-quality treated effluent returns safely to Okanagan Lake.

“This grant was only available to areas where reserves were in place, and the Rutland and Rialto areas in particular have a high percentage of failing septic systems,” said Rod MacLean, Utility Planning Manager. “The City wastewater utility is providing temporary funding for the Hall Road connection area, as there were no reserves collected or available. The sanitary crossing of Mission Creek on KLO Road is critical for upcoming construction of transportation, water and stormwater infrastructure, and provides some opportunities to service the Hall Road neighbourhood into the future.”

The City has been focused on eliminating septic systems for more than 25 years and has connected many properties across the City over that time. Without grants, the process is costly, and the burden is almost entirely on existing property owners. This grant applies to public infrastructure with service connections installed to property lines. Customers will be required to install connections from their residences at their own cost. 

The project is expected to be built over four years, with construction starting in 2022. The City will continue to apply for grant applications and address septic replacement as opportunities arise.