$6.6M upgrades coming to Sooke wastewater treatment plant

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Massive upgrades are being planned for the Sooke wastewater treatment plant, which serves residents in the District of Sooke and the T’Sou-ke Nation.

The approximately $6.58-million project will upgrade the sewage plant's structure and equipment, and will increase its overall sewer capacity.

The province says it's investing in the project partly due to estimated population growth in the area. It will also improve the water quality of the Sooke basin, and will replace older infrastructure in the T’Sou-ke Nation.

"With these upgrades, the people of the T’Sou-ke Nation will be able to do away with aging septic fields, which will contribute positively to the health of our community and the natural environment," said T’Sou-ke Nation Chief Gordon Planes in a release Monday.

"This project reflects our commitment to preserving our ecosystems and fostering sustainable economic growth that will ensure that future generations can enjoy our beautiful waterways and coastlines for many years into the future," he said.

The project is still in its early stages, with the design phase beginning "soon," according to the province.

The B.C. government is contributing $4.6 million to the project, while the District of Sooke is investing the remainder, approximately $2 million.

The entire project is estimated to finish in fall 2023.

"As B.C. recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important that we build the critical infrastructure people want and need to create local economic opportunities, protect the land and water, and advance meaningful and lasting reconciliation," said Premier John Horgan in a statement Monday.

"Upgrades to this facility will deliver the services that people living in the District of Sooke and members of the T’Sou-ke Nation count on and will ensure these communities remain strong and vibrant, while contributing to cleaner waterways and a healthier environment," he said.