Metro Vancouver is a federation of the 21 municipalities and one treaty First Nation in our region. It is responsible for the delivery of regional services and planning. Growing and maintaining the regional water and sewer systems are Metro Vancouver’s responsibility, and it costs a lot of money.
In February, I posted several maps of water and sewer projects that Metro Vancouver is working on. At the latest Metro Vancouver Utilities Committee meeting, the committee received an update on the current water and sewer projects that Metro Vancouver is working on.
Metro Vancouver is currently working on $1.5 billion worth of water projects, and $704 million in sewer projects. These projects are expected to be $52 million under budget. In 2014, they completed a total of $78 million in water and sewer projects, $16 million under budget. It seems that the region is doing a good job of managing the overall costs of these substantial projects.
The single largest project that Metro Vancouver is working on is the $827 million Seymour-Capilano Filtration Plant and Twin Tunnels project. This project is almost complete. Once complete, water from both the Capilano and Seymour watersheds will be filtered and disinfection with UV light. This will give our region some of the best drinking water in the world.
|Map of Metro Vancouver's Seymour-Capilano Water Treatment Projects. Select map to enlarge.|
Metro Vancouver is also investing $225 million to twin the water mains under the Port Mann Bridge to support growth in the South of Fraser.
One of the larger sewer projects that Metro Vancouver is working on is $63 million in upgrades to the Northwest Langley Wastewater Treatment Plant. This plant only services Walnut Grove in the Township of Langley.
Metro Vancouver is also investing about $60 million in various upgrades to support people who live in Surrey.
The largest sewer project that Metro Vancouver is working on is $265.5 million worth of upgrades to the Annacis Island Wastewater Treatment Planet. This plant services South of Fraser municipalities. These upgrades are part of a larger $750 million long-term project to upgrade the plant to handle growth in our region.
While the majority of Metro Vancouver’s water and sewer projects go unnoticed, they are vital to supporting growth in our region.
Many of these projects are being built without the financial support of the provincial and federal governments. This is why the Metro Vancouver portion of property tax in our region is rapidly rising.