Wastewater Treatment Plant - Town of Gibsons

Gibsons’ Wastewater Treatment Plant removes 99% of suspended solids from influent before discharging into the ocean.

We use water in many ways, both at home and in commercial or industrial operations. This water becomes “wastewater” once it has been used, whether for washing dishes or clothes, flushing a toilet, or as part of a manufacturing process.

The Town of Gibsons operates and maintains a network of trunk sewers, pumping lift stations and a wastewater treatment plant that connects the Town’s sewer systems. Together, these infrastructure assets enable the Town to responsibly treat the wastewater created by our community.

For a detailed description of how the Town’s wastewater is treated before being discharged into the ocean, please click here.

Investing to Meet Our Objectives

Gibsons’ Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) was commissioned in 2005. Since then, the Town has consistently invested in upgrades and optimizations at the plant to ensure we can continue to:

  • meet (or exceed) the effluent discharge permit requirements set by the provincial and federal government;
  • provide sufficient treatment capacity to meet the community’s needs;
  • improve the WWTP’s resilience to climate change impacts (such as severe rain events, sea level rise and extended drought periods); and
  • minimize odour intensity and duration as much as possible.

These investments will continue as we move forward, with a funding request for upgrades aimed at further minimizing odour control to be included in the 2023 annual budget.

Report Strong Odours

Unfortunately, strong odours are an unavoidable byproduct of effective wastewater/sewage treatment. Additionally, factors outside of our control, such as warm weather and certain air flow patterns, can exacerbate the problem.

So, while the Town consistently invests in equipment and processes to minimize odours coming from the plant, we cannot completely eliminate bad smells.

Please let us know when you notice strong odours originating at the Wastewater Treatment Plant, as this helps us identify links between activities at the plant and unpleasant smells. You can report strong odours by emailing infrastructure@gibsons.ca or calling 604.886.2274.

Investing in Our Infrastructure (2019/2020)

In 2019, a number of optimization and upgrades were completed at the facility, including the construction of an equalization tank. Budgeted at $2.1 million, the upgrades were required so that the Town may continue to meet our Provincial permitting requirements to discharge treated effluent into the ocean, and to ensure the plant continues to run as efficiently as possible.

In fall 2020, the crew at the Wastewater Treatment Plant conducted comprehensive maintenance work on the process tank in one of two Sequencing Batch Reactors (SBR 1). This is a major component of our treatment process which breaks down and removes the ammonia and solid concentrations from our wastewater.

The much-needed maintenance involved cleaning the tank, repairing broken piping, tightening couplings, and replacing 660 membrane diffusers, and will enable the Town to deliver even better wastewater treatment.

For a full report on the work that was undertaken in September 2020, as well as lessons learned from the maintenance initiative undertaken in 2019, please click here.