Overview of Projects
The Iona Island Wastewater Treatment Plant in Richmond, BC is being upgraded. The design concept for the upgrade includes tertiary treatment and a range of ecological restoration projects.
Metro Vancouver wants to ensure the wastewater treatment plant makes a positive contribution to the health and well-being of people and the environment.
The upgraded plant and related ecological projects will be designed to:
- Improve the level of treatment from primary to tertiary to protect water quality and the marine environment
- Withstand an earthquake and sea level rise
- Integrate with Iona Beach Regional Park and the surrounding environment
- Restore fish habitat, protect bird habitat and enhance terrestrial ecosystems
- Minimize odour
- Recover sustainable energy and resources from wastewater
Project Update: In-Water Geotechnical Investigations (October 2022)
In May 2022, Metro Vancouver began land-based geotechnical investigations to support the IIWWTP Projects. In-water drilling and sampling investigations in the North Arm Fraser River and in McDonald Slough are expected to begin in October 2022 and will occur over a two-week period, see map below for locations. The on-land geotechnical drilling investigations on Iona Island will facilitate infrastructure planning and project design, and the in-water investigations will inform seismic modelling. The timing for the program will respect bird nesting and in-water work windows. Metro Vancouver is working with consultants and contractors to mitigate potential impacts to existing habitats throughout the site.
This map shows the locations of the in-water geotechnical investigations located around Island.
Project Update: Lagoon Clean Out May to November 2022
Over the next five years, each of the treated sludge lagoons will be cleaned out in preparation to support the wastewater treatment plant upgrade construction and to prepare the site. Each area will be re-purposed for alternate uses during and after the IIWWTP projects construction.
From approximately May to November 2022, Metro Vancouver will begin cleaning out the southeast lagoon. This work will resume in spring 2023 for approximately six months, and occur yearly until 2027. Work will occur from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm, Monday to Saturday.
During clean out operations, a barge will float on the lagoon surface and dredge out the biosolids from the bottom. The liquid biosolids will be pumped to two centrifuges, located on a concrete dewatering pad, which separates the water from the biosolids.
All four lagoons will be cleaned out by the end of 2027.
Metro Vancouver will monitor and mitigate noise, odour, and wildlife impacts throughout operations.
Ongoing Priority Activities
Metro Vancouver is continuing to deliver on priority project activities that will not be impacted by any design refinements, including:
- Removal of biosolids stockpiles at the existing treatment plant
- Lagoon cleanout activities
- Geotechnical investigations
- Technical studies for ecological restoration projects
- Work to obtain required permits and approvals
- Design of a barge berth for transportation of construction materials to and from Iona Island
- Improvements to roads and upgraded electrical servicing on Sea Island and Iona Island
Visitors to Iona Island may see crews conducting field investigations or other work related to the activities listed above. We will continue to keep you updated about what to expect on the island and in the surrounding area as the projects progress.
March 2022 Conceptual Design and Project Definition Report Approval (Stage Gate 1) APPROVED
On March 25, 2022, the Project Definition Report and Conceptual Design was approved by the Greater Vancouver Sewerage & Drainage District (GVS&DD).
The overall project will now move into the preliminary design phase.
To learn more:
Project Definition Engagement Is Now Complete (2018 to February 2022)
Thank you to everyone who has participated in engagement and shared feedback with us since 2018. Your input, along with the conceptual design and Project Definition Report, was shared with the Liquid Waste Committee on
March 9, 2022 and the GVS&DD Board on
March 25, 2022.
Please see the “Past Engagement Events and Meeting Summaries” section below for more information about engagement activities.
Ongoing opportunities for engagement will be provided in the preliminary design phase.
Questions or comments? Please email IonaWWTP@metrovancouver.org