Ahousaht First Nation celebrated the completion of their new wastewater treatment plant, located at Ahousaht First Nation’s Maaqtusiis Reserve No. 15.

This plant replaces the old septic tank treatment and lift station, as well as the old outfall pipe, which was located in an area with a shellfish habitat sensitive to sewage contamination. The old system was unable to properly protect seafood safety and did not meet regulatory standards.

“The improvements offered through this updated wastewater treatment facility will not only sustain our efforts to enhance and protect our environment, it will also greatly improve our quality of life. Thank you to former council, the Government of Canada and all of the workers that have made this possible,” said Chief n̓aasʔałuk (John Rampanen), Ahousaht First Nation.

The new plant will provide adequate wastewater collection, secondary (biological) treatment with disinfection, and marine disposal while meeting both the federal Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations and the BC Municipal Wastewater Regulation. This larger infrastructure will have the capacity to support future population growth in the community and support seafood safety by protecting local marine ecosystems.

“Wastewater plants are not always well understood as the critical infrastructure pieces that they are, but they play such an important role in community safety through water and environmental management,” said Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services. “Ahousaht First Nation’s new plant will help the community better manage sewage treatment, protect local marine ecosystems, and is built with future population growth in mind. Indigenous Services Canada and the federal government will continue to help First Nations build more infrastructure projects like this one, and congratulations to everyone involved in making this wastewater treatment plant a reality.”

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The new wastewater treatment plant became operational in 2022 and will be maintained by trained operators from Ahousaht First Nation.

Through Indigenous Services Canada, the Government of Canada provided $25 million towards this project, which includes the construction of a new wastewater pump station, force main, operational buildings and marine outfall pipe.

Featured image: (Tritech Group)

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