Sooke wastewater treatment plant delivering environmental benefits to ocean ecosystems



    SOOKE, BC, Oct. 7 /CNW/ - The District of Sooke's new wastewater
treatment system, developed in partnership with EPCOR, is reducing
contaminants and providing environmental benefits to Sooke Harbour.
    A recent study by the Capital Regional District reveals that the
community's sewer system has reduced contamination of Sooke Harbour by fecal
coliform bacteria caused by failing residential septic systems. Hundreds of
these systems were decommissioned following the completion of the sewer system
in 2005. The CRD's study noted that "fecal coliform levels are lower since the
wastewater treatment plant and conveyance system became active."
    "Cleaning and protecting the water around Sooke was a central goal with
the wastewater treatment facility," said Sooke Mayor Janet Evans, "This
environmental monitoring by EPCOR and the CRD proves that we're on the right
track."
    The underwater studies also reveal that the marine outfall structure has
created new marine habitat for native fish and ocean plant life in Juan de
Fuca Strait.
    Recent environmental monitoring of the 1.7 km long outfall reports that
the outfall pipe, concrete weights and ballast mats are creating new
environment for plant life, invertebrates and fish. Divers observed a number
of fish species (rockfish, greenling and lingcod) using the structure's
crevices for habitat and breeding purposes. Dense patches of sea lettuce,
rainbow leaf and red algae are flourishing alongside a variety of kelps,
eelgrass and surfgrass, growing directly on the pipeline and recolonizing sea
bed areas disturbed during installation.
    "EPCOR is committed to providing cleaner water for a cleaner future,"
said Sooke plant Manager Tami Wetmore. "We are seeing that being demonstrated
through improving water quality in the Harbour and with a thriving new
ecosystem taking hold along the outfall."
    Developed as a partnership between the District of Sooke and EPCOR, the
system serves 5,500 residents. The $22.7 million project was delivered on
budget and six months ahead of schedule. The District maintains ownership of
the asset, with EPCOR providing operational expertise.

    The District of Sooke is a seaside municipality located on the west coast
of Vancouver Island with a growing population of 10,000. The District of
Sooke's website is www.sooke.ca.

    EPCOR Utilities Inc. builds, owns and operates power plants, electrical
transmission and distribution networks, water and wastewater treatment
facilities and infrastructure in Canada and the United States. EPCOR's website
is www.epcor.ca




For further information:

For further information: Jay Shukin, EPCOR, (250) 882-5188,
jshukin@epcor.ca

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EPCOR Utilities Inc.

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