The new wastewater upgrades project is getting underway this fall – kicking off an important update that will serve Cumberland for the years to come.

The Wastewater Upgrades will focus on refurbishing the current lagoon site and include the addition of new buildings, better instrumentation, and site security. It will also include construction of an innovative reed bed to remove toxins and the restoration of acres of surrounding wetlands.

Once complete, these wastewater upgrades will exceed provincial regulatory treatment requirements, releasing safe water into Cumberland’s sensitive inland habitat areas.

“This essential infrastructure project has been years in the making and is critical to our operations today and moving forward,” said Mayor Leslie Baird. “Community input has made this a real “made in Cumberland solution” moving us towards a more sustainable future.”

Early site works this fall will include some tree removal, the rerouting of trails that currently enter into the site, and the installation of a fence around the lagoons area. The majority of the construction work will be in 2022, with a targeted completion date of 2023.

This project includes three components, with the lagoon upgrades as the primary focus.

  • Lagoon Upgrades. These are the main treatment improvements, to meet provincial effluent and reliability standards – works include:
  1. Improvements to wastewater screening,
  2. Changing the flow path in the lagoons and adding extra aeration
  3. Adding nutrients for phosphorus removal
  4. Additional environmentally friendly disinfection
  5. Ancillary works such as an operator’s building, workshop, improved instrumentation, site security, etc.
  • Biochar Media Reed Bed. A constructed wetland that uses plants and biochar (charcoal) to “polish” the treated water and filter out contaminants such as pharmaceuticals. This will be the first of its kind in Canada.
  • Wetland Enhancement. A reanimation of the existing wetlands located on the east side of Maple Lake Creek, using the treated water. Proposed rehabilitation will include invasive species removal, planting of various native habitat zones and reclaimed water distribution by swales and new ponds. This will create opportunities for new walking trails, lookout points and interpretive signs.

This system is a combination of engineered and naturalized systems for high-quality treatment of Cumberland’s wastewater which will further be “touched by nature” before flowing into Maple Lake Creek.

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