The governments of Canada and British Columbia announced more than $9.9 million in joint funding for a new wastewater treatment plant for Cultus Lake in the Regional District of Fraser Valley.
“Our government is proud to invest more than $5.4 million to keep Cultus Lake clean, and help ensure surrounding communities and recreational users can enjoy its use. We will continue to collaborate with our partners to deliver projects that improve wastewater management, increase treatment reliability, and support community development and growth,” said Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada.
Funding will support the construction of a new facility to upgrade collection and provide secondary treatment of wastewater, manage sediment, and remove nutrients like nitrogen to control algae growth and protect aquatic habitats. Related infrastructure installations will include piping and rapid infiltration basins, and will address odour control. The Soowahlie First Nations will also benefit from the installation of a pressurized sewer pipe that will service the lands.
“Cultus Lake is a jewel of the Fraser Valley for residents and tourists alike. By supporting essential infrastructure, our government is improving the environment, relieving pressure on the local government and providing services residents expect. I’m thrilled to see the collaboration of local, federal and provincial governments to protect Cultus Lake,” said Kelli Paddon, MLA for Chilliwack-Kent.
“This project means so much more than simply replacing aging infrastructure in Electoral Area H. It represents a commitment by all levels of government to improving the health of Cultus Lake. The new Wastewater Treatment Plant is a cornerstone of the community-developed Liquid Waste Management Plan. The FVRD is grateful for this financial support to achieve the long-term vision of that plan, preserving fish habitat and recreational values and protecting a sustainable resource,” said Jason Lum, Chair of the Fraser Valley Regional District board.
“The Cultus Lake Stewardship Society is a network of over 60 organizations and individuals, all interested in the future of Cultus Lake. Effective management of wastewater will have a significant impact on cultural eutrophication, reducing the impacts of human-caused nitrogen and phosphorus entering the ecosystem. It is critical that we continue to work together to keep Cultus Lake in balance, protecting aquatic species for generations to come,” said Christina Toth, Cultus Lake Aquatic Stewardship Society.
Featured image: (L to R) Taryn Dixon, FVRD Electoral Area H Director; Christina Toth, Cultus Lake Stewardship Society; MLA Kelly Paddon; Jason Lum, Chair, FVRD; and Kirk Dzaman, Chair, Cultus Lake Park Board. (FVRD)