Media Releases



A new wastewater treatment plant for the North Shore will extract heat from treated sewage, to reduce energy consumption and operating costs at the plant. Biogas produced from the sewage digestion process will generate electricity, to help pay for an essential service that protects the environment and human health. Odours will be contained, collected and treated with a state-of-the-art, two-stage, odour control system. These are just a few of the environmental, economic and community integration features of an “indicative” or preliminary design endorsed November 15 by the Metro Vancouver Board. “The existing Lions Gate Wastewater Treatment Plant under Lions Gate Bridge has served North Shore residents and businesses since 1961,” said Darrell Mussatto, the Chair of Metro Vancouver’s Utilities Committee. “It’s time to upgrade and replace a half-century-old facility with better treatment processes,” he said. “We need a facility for the 21st Century, a modern secondary treatment plant that will continue to protect the environment but also recover energy and nutrients from the liquids we flush down our toilets and pour down our kitchen sinks.” The regional district must build a new secondary treatment plant for the North Shore by 2020, to comply with regulations and standards adopted by federal and provincial environment ministers. Cities across Canada must have secondary treatment for wastewater. “The Lions Gate and Iona Island wastewater treatment plants are the last remaining primary treatment plants in our region,” said Metro Vancouver Board Chair Greg Moore. “The community leaders on our Board acknowledged these upgrades were needed in 2010, when the Board approved the regional district’s Integrated Liquid Waste and Resource Management Plan. Metro Vancouver is seeking federal and provincial funding support for this major infrastructure project.” During the project definition phase, Metro Vancouver received significant input to shape the design, by engaging residents, businesses, key interest groups, member municipalities and affected First Nations. Ninety-five meetings and presentations occurred between February, 2012 and the end of October, 2013, as the indicative design was developed. The indicative design has a projected $700 million project budget, which will be the basis for funding applications to the provincial and federal governments. Nutrient-rich biosolids collected during the treatment process will be used to rehabilitate land where mining or other activities have removed soil and vegetation, to fertilize lands, and to create soil for landscaping. Once funding is in place, work can start on a more detailed engineering and architectural design. Construction and commissioning of the new plant will be completed by December 31, 2020. The new secondary treatment plant will be designed for an 80-year life span. It could be upgraded to tertiary treatment – a higher standard of wastewater treatment – if there are regulatory or environmental needs to do so in the future. “All levels of government should invest in a basic service that protects human health and the environment,” Mussatto said. “It’s an investment for your children and their children - an investment for a clean and green North Shore.” More information is posted at, on the Lions Gate Secondary Wastewater Treatment Project pages, and in the Indicative Design Summary Report. The Media Room includes an archive of Metro Vancouver media releases and video stories. Click on Lions Gate Secondary WWTP New Regulations to see one of those video stories.