AHOUSAHT, B.C. – Ahousaht First Nation, located in traditional Nuu-chah-nulth Territory on Flores Island on the west coast of Vancouver Island, is celebrating the completion of a new wastewater treatment plant.
Located at Ahousaht First Nation’s Maaqtusiis Reserve No. 15, the plant replaces an old septic tank treatment and lift station as well as an old outfall pipe that was located in an area with a shellfish habitat sensitive to sewage contamination.
“Ahousaht Nation acknowledges the collaborative effort that has been undertaken to accomplish the completion of the new wastewater treatment plant. As an oceanic people, our marine ecosystem and aquatic food systems are integral and interconnected to our way of life. The improvements offered through this updated wastewater treatment facility will not only sustain our efforts to enhance and protect our environment, it will also greatly improve our quality of life,” said Ahousaht First Nation Chief n̓aasʔałuk (John Rampanen) in a statement.
The new plant provides adequate wastewater collection, secondary biological treatment with disinfection, marine disposal while meeting both the federal Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations and the BC Municipal Wastewater Regulation. The new infrastructure will have the capacity to support future community population growth and support seafood safety by protecting local marine ecosystems, the release stated.
“Wastewater plants are not always well understood as the critical infrastructure pieces that they are, but they play such an important role in community safety through water and environmental management,” added federal Minister of Indigenous Services Patty Hadju.
“Ahousaht First Nation’s new plant will help the community better manage sewage treatment, protect local marine ecosystems, and is built with future population growth in mind.”
The new wastewater system is designed to accommodate 1,300 people and the community currently has 743 members living on the reserve.