Team still confident right choice made for Dawson sewage treatment

Team still confident right choice made for Dawson sewage treatment The project team for the Dawson City wastewater treatment facility would like to report to Yukoners the status of the project and its significance to the community of Dawson City. The go

The project team for the Dawson City wastewater treatment facility would like to report to Yukoners the status of the project and its significance to the community of Dawson City.

The government of Yukon and the City of Dawson remain committed to providing an environmentally appropriate and sustainable technology for Dawson City’s wastewater treatment system.

The technology chosen is robust and proven in two wastewater plants in Manitoba. The vertical treatment uses less land, which reduces environmental and community impacts. The treatment uses a biological process to breakdown sewage that is enhanced by injecting air into the sewage at depth in vertical shafts. Performance data from around the world including Finland, China, Japan and Alaska is available to the public on the water board website located at: http://www.yukonwaterboard.ca/registers/municipal/MN10-086/Reasons.pdf.

In Homer, Alaska, the Vertreat™ deep shaft technology continues to be successful. City officials indicate the system is easy to run and complies with regulations and they regard their wastewater system to be an asset to the town of Homer.

With respect to assessments, approvals and permits the project has obtained a decision document though the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act process that is being adhered to. The project has also obtained a development permit from the city of Dawson, a building permit from the Yukon government and a water license.

During the entire 70-day environmental assessment phase only one comment was received. Similarly, there was only one comment received through the public comment phase with the water board. The new plant was given a water licence for 19 years, with no public hearing requested or required.

Construction is continuing. Over the winter, interior work of the facility will begin and the plant is expected to be operational by the summer of 2012.

Communication is ongoing with Dawson City stakeholder groups, mayor and council, local media in Dawson and with the Robert Service School. Members of the project team spent a day at the school last November to describe the new plant and its relevance to the community and environment. Recently the Grade 4 class toured the site for a once-in-a-life-time opportunity to see the inside of the plant, which will not be possible once the plant is operational.

The project team is confident that the right long-term solution was chosen for the City of Dawson. This investment will protect and enhance the quality of the Yukon River while providing critical infrastructure for the community. Readers are invited to comment and find out more about the technology and construction of this milestone project at www.dawsonwastewater.ca.

Doris Wurfbaum

Highways and Public Works