Dawson sewage plant delay

The Yukon government has requested another extension for the new sewage plant in Dawson City.

The Yukon government has requested another extension for the new sewage plant in Dawson City.

In 2003, the Yukon territorial court ordered a new sewage plant be built after the municipality was charged, under the Fisheries Act, for pumping sewage into the Yukon River.

The charges came from August 2000, when enforcement officers went into the sewage treatment plant with some rainbow trout.

After about four days of being exposed to the treated sewage, at least half of the rainbow trout died.

The court ordered the city to have a new plant built by December 31, 2004.

That was extended until 2008 after it was discovered the technology the government was installing would not work for the Klondike town, said Catherine Harwood, project manager with Highways and Public Works.

Another extension was given until December 2011 when it was discovered the plant could not be built at the location the territory had picked.

Now, cold weather has delayed the project again.

The project has been “unusual,” said Jim Lloyd, spokesman for Vancouver-based Corix Water Systems, which is building the plant.

He mentioned the human remains dug up in November.

All the delays pushed the schedule back and, by the time they were ready to lay concrete, the ground was frozen, said Lloyd.

“We’re not off by much,” said Harwood. “We’re projecting to be operating in March, so we’re talking weeks, not months. And the court was open to that. The judge said, ‘You made excellent progress. You’re doing everything you can to keep going quickly, like 12-hour shifts, seven days a week and busy crews on site.’ So he was open to (the extension).”

The extension to May 31 has not been granted yet. The judge is expected to impose a new deadline at a hearing next month.

Despite delays, the project is almost on budget.

The project is now going to cost about $25.5 million, up from $24.9 million. The money has gone to some spare pumps ($30,000 to $40,000), main force pipe valves ($11,000), a truck-dumping station for all the off-grid but in-town residents ($300,000 to $400,000) and a heat-recovery pipe ($200,000), said Harwood.

In the meantime, Dawson City is still pumping sewage into the river.

After going through a glorified strainer, the solid waste is brought to the landfill and the liquid waste goes into the river. It is tested monthly, said Harwood.

Once the plant gets up and running, sewage will fall into a deep shaft, before taking the exact same path.

“As it’s pumped into the shaft, basically compressed air goes through and creates the biological reaction, which ends up treating the sludge and so on,” said Lloyd.

After that, the solid waste will be trucked to the landfill and the treated liquid will flow into the river, he added.

Corix Water Systems’ sister company, Corix Utilities, will be brought in for a year after the plant starts up to ensure everything runs smoothly and that locals are trained to keep it that way.

Contact Roxanne Stasyszyn at

roxannes@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board is issuing $10 million in rebates to employers this month. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Yukon employers to receive $10-million in rebates from Workers’ Compensation Board

Eligible employers will receive cheques based on total premiums paid in 2020

Connie Peggy Thorn, 52, pleaded guilty Jan. 27 to manslaughter in the 2017 death of Greg Dawson. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Whitehorse woman pleads guilty to manslaughter in death of Greg Dawson

Connie Thorn, 52, was arrested in October 2019 and pleaded guilty in Supreme Court on Jan. 27.

Abigail Jirousek, left, is tailed by Brian Horton while climbing a hill during the Cross Country Yukon January Classic in Whitehorse on Jan. 23. Jirousek finished second in the U16 girls category. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Cross Country Yukon hosts classic race

Cross Country Yukon hosted a classic technique cross-country ski race on Jan.… Continue reading

Yukon Premier Sandy Silver talks to media on March 5, 2020. The Yukon government said Jan. 25 that it is disappointed in a decision by the federal government to send the Kudz Ze Kayah mining project back to the drawing board. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Territorial and federal governments at odds over Kudz Ze Kayah mine project

The federal government, backed by Liard First Nation, sent the proposal back to the screening stage

Yukon RCMP’s Historial Case Unit are seeking the public’s help locating Bradley MacDonald, a 42-year-old man who has been missing since Aug. 5, 2019. (RCMP handout)
Historical Case Unit seeks man missing since 2019

Yukon RCMP’s Historial Case Unit are seeking the public’s help locating a… Continue reading

Yukon RCMP said in a press release that they are seeing an increase in tinted front passenger windows and are reminding people that it is illegal and potentially dangerous. (RCMP handout)
RCMP warn against upward trend of tinted windows

Yukon RCMP are seeing more vehicles with tinted front passenger windows, prompting… Continue reading

An arrest warrant has been issued for a 22-year-old man facing two tickets violating the <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em>. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Arrest warrant issued for CEMA violation

An arrest warrant has been issued for Ansh Dhawan over two tickets for violating CEMA

The office space at 151 Industrial Road in Marwell. At Whitehorse city council’s Jan. 25 meeting, members voted to sign off on the conditional use approval so Unit 6 at 151 Industrial Rd. can be used for office space. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
Marwell move set for land and building services staff

Conditional use, lease approved for office space

The bus stop at the corner of Industrial and Jasper Road in Whitehorse on Jan. 25. The stop will be moved approximately 80 metres closer to Quartz Road. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
UPDATED: Industrial Road bus stop to be relocated

The city has postponed the move indefinitely

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment in Faro photgraphed in 2016. Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old building currently accommodating officers. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Faro RCMP tagged for new detachment

Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old… Continue reading

In a Jan. 18 announcement, the Yukon government said the shingles vaccine is now being publicly funded for Yukoners between age 65 and 70, while the HPV vaccine program has been expanded to all Yukoners up to and including age 26. (1213rf.com)
Changes made to shingles, HPV vaccine programs

Pharmacists in the Yukon can now provide the shingles vaccine and the… Continue reading

Parking attendant Const. Ouellet puts a parking ticket on the windshield of a vehicle in downtown Whitehorse on Dec. 6, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is hoping to write of nearly $300,000 in outstanding fees, bylaw fines and court fees, $20,225 of which is attributed to parking fines issued to non-Yukon license plates. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City of Whitehorse could write off nearly $300,000

The City of Whitehorse could write off $294,345 in outstanding fees, bylaw… Continue reading

Most Read