Septage receiving will tie into town’s treatment plant in District of Barriere

District of Barriere Mayor Bill Humphreys reports on status of wastewater treatment plant plans

Progress, as slow as it may seem has been made. A design charrette was held recently for the sewer project. These meetings bring together interested parties from various disciplines and backgrounds to allow exchange of ideas and to provide a method of exploring options in relation to such projects. Ideally a lot is done in a short space of time.

EcoTek has been contracted to design the treatment plant. The design is a solar aquatics system. Mr. Rink the president and CEO of the company attended with a team from such places as Halifax and Massachusetts as well as  representatives from company headquarters in Langley, B.C.

A full compliment of local experts and interested parties attended as well. Everyone had good ideas and contributed to the process greatly. I want to extend my personal thanks to all that attended. Barriere has many talented people living here. The fact that they give so generously of their time and energy to make our community flourish and grow is something we all should give thanks for.

We also had a group of interested and helpful people attend the recent Public Works meeting. The topic of the TNRD septage receiving pits closure came up at the meeting.

The requirement to fill the need created by the closure of the pits is not going unnoticed. Dave Underwood, our engineer is working to complete a design for a septage receiving facility. The potential site is currently being surveyed for suitability and requests for pricing on the various components have been sent out. This septage receiving facility will tie into the solar aquatics plant in the future. As a result the design must meet the requirements of pre-treatment for that process.

The design focus is that all portions of the sewer and septage systems will be ecologically friendly. While the technology employed is well proven the opportunity to further improve and refine wastewater treatment techniques to be used here in Barriere is of utmost importance.

Wastewater is now considered to be a resource. The treated water from the Barriere plant will be used to irrigate our parks in the summer thereby saving treated drinking water and to recharge the aquifer in the winter months. This is a total change from traditional wastewater treatment plants that employ sewage lagoons and rely on evaporation with no possibility to reuse the wastewater.

Our septage receiving station will be constructed as a first step in the sewer system project. For now the septage facility will provide more of a storage function. However, until the solar aquatics sewer plant is built the design of the septage receiving plant will allow us to introduce some of the treated septage into other facilities here in Barriere rather than hauling it all to Kamloops.

Also, when completed, the whole eco friendly sewer and septage system could form the basis of a training and research facility for wastewater technical experts and students of all ages. Rhonda Kershaw, our SD73 trustee recently sent me some details on how we might be able to incorporate recent grant possibilities into providing interpretive and training activities at the sewer facility. I look forward to working together to bring this concept to fruition.

Using cutting edge technology with best practises for the environment is never a bad thing. Barriere is set to be at the forefront in the wastewater sector. No smell, clean water that can be used again, a training facility that is a showplace in our community, how good is that? More details as they emerge.

On the topic of learning and students, on Monday May 14, two of our local students were featured in an article about the Heritage Fair held in Kamloops. Sara Kate Smith and Danny Purcha, who are both grade 7 students at Barriere Elementary, showed off their heritage projects, which by all accounts were very well done indeed.

It is not the first time Barriere students have done well with their Heritage fair efforts. Danny won the Lieutenant Governor Historical Literacy Award certificate of achievement in 2011 and has put forth another great effort this year.

All of us here in Barriere have good reason to be proud of Sara and Danny’s efforts as well as the efforts of all those students that take the time to participate in these events. Good job one and all.