The Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre (BMSC) is pleased to celebrate the recent groundbreaking ceremony marking the construction of a modern wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) with the Huu-ay-aht First Nations (Huu-ay-aht) at the BMSC. In 2018, the Huu-ay-aht and the BMSC signed a memorandum of understanding agreeing to work together on the construction of the WWTP. The total project budget for the WWTP is $8 million, with Indigenous Services Canada committing $3.6 million and the Huu-ay-aht investing the final $4.4 million needed to complete the plant. The BMSC is providing the land and the existing outfall to the project. In addition, the BMSC’s member universities (University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, University of Victoria, University of Alberta and University of Calgary) committed $1 million towards the construction of the lift station; controls and related appurtenances, inlet/outlet piping, as well as the design of the force main that will convey the BMSC’s wastewater to the future WWTP.
The WWTP will be a moving bed biological reactor design that produces extremely clean effluent. The project will also extend the existing 160m BMSC outfall by another 350m to safely transport treated effluent out to the ocean. The facility has a modular design with a capacity for expansion. Phase one will connect upper Anacla village, the BMSC, and the Bamfield Community School (which is currently tied into the BMSC). The Huu-ay-aht will operate the WWTP as a utility, while the BMSC will pay a user fee and enable us to retire our own ageing system.
The project encapsulates the shared vision and values of the Huu-ay-aht First Nations and the BMSC to promote the health and development of the community while reducing the impact of wastewater to protect the local marine environment. The project strengthens our long-term relationship with the Huu-ay-aht, who are active partners in several research and education programs, and demonstrates the BMSC’s continued commitment to reconciliation and partnership with Indigenous peoples.