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Westside to connect municipal sewer

Whistler scores in top three on National Sewage Report Card

The municipality is moving ahead with its plans to connect the Westside of Alta Lake to the municipal sewer system – a system which has been rated among the best in the country.

At Tuesday’s meeting, council authorized staff to move ahead with a grant application with Infrastructure Canada, which will help finance the Westside sewer project.

A pre-design study and cost estimates, which were conducted in the spring, put the cost of the project at $3 million. The municipality is applying for a 66 per cent grant.

On Wednesday Sierra Legal released its third National Sewage Report Card which evaluates how cities across Canada treat and manage their sewage.

Of the 22 cities evaluated, Whistler scored in the top three, along with Calgary and Edmonton, based on various criteria including level of treatment and volume of raw sewage discharged.

The top three cities treat virtually all of their sewage at the highest (or tertiary) level.

On the other hand, cities such as Victoria, Montreal and Halifax continue to dump some or all of their sewage without any treatment.

The Westside represents the last significant area in Whistler which is not connected to the municipal sewer. By linking the system Whistler can avoid any future degradation from septic tanks.

The project stems back to the 1992 Whistler Liquid Waste Management Plan in which the municipality agreed to extend the sewer service to Emerald Estates and the west side of Alta Lake.

Though Whistler applied for a 66 per cent grant for the Emerald Estates project, they received about 40 per cent.

That project cost $10 million and each homeowner was required to pay $6,000 to connect to the system.

The municipality could get more funding to help with the west side project.

Most detailed cost estimates for the project will be brought before council and the property owners as the design work moves ahead.