Serious Mechanical Failure at Squamish Waste Water Plant

District Public Works senior staff met with Council today to discuss the need for emergency repairs required at the Waste Water Treatment Plant. The rotating steel structure in the circular clarifier tank has suffered a serious mechanical failure, rendering the tank out of commission.

The plant has continued seamless operations by switching over to its backup system, which utilizes the “old” clarifier tank to process the waste water. The plant is continuing to operate as normal and is meeting all provincial standards.

 The repairs are expected to cost a minimum of $110,500, though a worst-case scenario could put the costs at three-to-four times that amount. The Sewer Reserve Fund, kept for such unplanned maintenance like this, is the recommended source for funding. The full extent of the damage will not be known until the steel structure is taken apart and repair crews can fully investigate.

The cause of the failure is also being thoroughly examined and investigated.

 As is required in the event of any changes in procedures or complications at the Waste Water Treatment Plant, the District informed the BC Ministry of Environment to ensure the treated waste water that flows into the Squamish River is closely monitored and remains within acceptable levels of bacteria.

The backup holding tank is working well, however it has a lower capacity than the primary tank, and the heavy rains are concerning as they are adding to the volume of water in the tank. If the backup system were to be overwhelmed it could mean that the volume of waste water through the system is too great and the normal bacteriological process might not fully occur.

 A full cost and timeline for the repairs will be finalized once the extent of the damage is understood.


  1. Patricia Marini says:

    We have been suggesting for years that the system is been too small for all the new building, DAH!
    As usual the council are the only ones who don’ get it! Close the barn door after the horse is gone

  2. Ron Preston says:

    Why is rain water an issue? I thought that storm drains direct the run-off directly into the rivers. Also, are repairs not automatically done, why is council involved in a repair or is there a $ cap that then needs councils guidance.

    • Most wastewater lift stations are below the water table. Therefore infiltration during wet storms.

  3. Get rid of this administrator…

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