Bralorne Sewer Upgrade

Contact Information

For more information about the Bralorne Sewer, please contact:

Janis Netzel
Director of Utilities & Environmental Services
Squamish-Lillooet Regional District
T: (604) 894-6371 ext. 240
TF: 1-800-298-7752 ext. 240
E: jnetzel@slrd.bc.ca

Feb 12, 2016
Electoral Area A

A $1,999,530.000 grant from the Federal Gas Tax Agreement - Strategic Priorities Fund (GTA - SPF) program administered by the Union of BC Municipalities, announced on Friday February 12, 2016, will see Bralorne’s century old sewer finally brought into the 21st century.

“The Bralorne sewer has been operating on borrowed time. A replacement of the system was simply beyond ability of the tiny local tax base to finance,” says SLRD Board Chair, Jack Crompton. “A contemporary sanitary collection and treatment system is a cornerstone of a healthy community, and the SLRD is thrilled that the Bralorne community will soon have access to the same safe and adequate wastewater infrastructure as citizens living in larger communities. This funding is absolutely critical to achieving that and it is a great boost for the region.”

The Bralorne Wastewater Collection System Upgrade and Secondary Treatment project will provide sewer servicing to all of Bralorne’s 101 properties. Existing manholes and septic tanks will be decommissioned. A new septic tank and innovative secondary treatment system with a new outfall into Cadwallader Creek will be installed. It will operate by gravity, require only annual operator maintenance and see effluent quality exceed secondary treatment standards.

“This upgrade is vital for securing renewal and stability for Bralorne and the Bridge River Valley,” says Electoral Area A Director, Debbie Demare. “The aging sewer infrastructure has been a key barrier to economic development. Now, Bralorne will be positioned to capitalize on the growing backcountry adventure tourism industry and foster a vibrant, healthy and more prosperous future.”

The original sewer system serving the community of Bralorne, located in Electoral Area A of the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD), was constructed more than ninety years ago by the mining company operating in the area. The SLRD assumed ownership of the derelict sewer infrastructure in 1989 after a developer underestimated the market for recreational and vacation properties and was unable to finance planned sewerage system improvements. 

Design, routing and site development for the project will get underway this year, with plant construction scheduled for 2017 and mainline construction, service reconstruction and the decommission of old infrastructure planned for 2018.

Updates:

  • June 23, 2017: This project is almost ready to go to Tender (accepting bids on the construction work).  For an update on the project, as well as the expected timeline, please check out this summary report!
  • December 23, 2016: An information session was held on Thursday, January 5, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. in the basement of the Bralorne Community Church to update residents on the project. A Summary of the presentation can be downloaded here.
  • December 1, 2016: The detailed design of the new sewerage collection and treatment system is 90% complete. Property owners have been mailed an update and a service card this week, delineating the proposed location of the new service for their property. Please contact Stuart Purves, spurves@true.bc.ca, with questions, or if you have not received a letter before December 16. 

  • July 27, 2016: The SLRD Board awarded the contract to design and create the tendering documents for the project to TRUE Consulting Ltd. 

Background about the old sanitary system

The sewer system, servicing 101 lots in two adjacent town sites, is two separate gravity systems comprised of vitrified clay tile pipes that flow into two septic tanks. From there, the effluent flows through outfall pipes which discharge into Cadwalladar Creek.

The sewer infrastructure was constructed well before the time of generally accepted standards and much of the system is tresspassing on private property, making it difficult for the SLRD to perform repairs and maintenance on the system. The collection system is well beyond its expected lifespan and is need of upgrading.

The SLRD had been working to secure grant funding to upgrade the sewer infrastructure. 

On September 11, 2014, the SLRD learned that the outfall pipe from the septic tank servicing Townsite #1 had ruptured. Following an onsite inspection SLRD staff determined that the pipe was beyond repair. The Ministry of Environment (MOE) was contacted and permission was granted to install a new outfall pipe. The new line was in service on October 1, 2014. 

The MOE advised the SLRD of their plans to update the SLRD's operating permit to bring the system into compliance with the current Wastewater System Effluent Regulations. The new regulations require all sewer systems to provide, at minimum, secondary treatment. This means that it will be necessary to install a process to substantially degrade the organic content of the sewage prior to dispersion into Cadwalladar Creek. 

Now, thanks to the grant funding, instead of an expensive system retrofit, the Bralorne Wastewater Treatment System will be replaced with a state of the art service, befitting the striking natural environment and high quality drinking water infrastructure the community currently enjoys. 

Additional Information