The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) operates one of the most advanced wastewater treatment facilities in Canada.
The plant, located near the Cheakamus Crossing neighbourhood, is a tertiary treatment system, meaning it uses three levels of treatment for the wastewater, and includes a sophisticated odour-control system.
Collected wastewater flows to the treatment plant site headworks, where inorganic solids are removed. Instead of chemicals, the plant then employs a biological process that uses microbes to remove harmful nutrients. These microbes reduce nitrogen and ammonia toxicity, which in turn minimize the impact to the Cheakamus River where the wastewater is eventually discharged.
UV disinfection is used to treat the wastewater against waterborne diseases such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia. UV delivers up to 1,000 times the level of protection versus standard chemical treatment at a fraction of the cost and environmental harm of equivalent chemical disinfection. As a result of these treatment steps, Whistler’s treatment system is better for the environment than traditional treatment with lower levels of dissolved iron, chlorine, carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus, suspended solids and disease-causing organisms.
After the wastewater is treated, heat from the wastewater is transferred to the District Energy System to provide space and water heat for the Cheakamus Crossing neighbourhood. The wastewater is then discharged into the Cheakamus River.
Whistler’s treated wastewater meets the requirements of recreational receiving water standards as well as Federal and Provincial Environment regulations and permits. Overall permit compliance in 2014 was 98.8 per cent.
Operations of the Wastewater Treatment Plant are reflected in the RMOW’s 2004 Liquid Waste Management Plan.
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Wastewater Treatment Plant
1135 Cheakamus Lake Road
After-hours emergency 604-905-9038