Saanich Peninsula Wastewater Treatment Plant Celebrates Successful Wastewater Thermal Energy Project

Victoria, British Columbia, June 24, 2011 – Panorama Recreation Centre is the recipient of heat from a new thermal energy project at the Capital Regional District's (CRD) Saanich Peninsula Wastewater Treatment Plant, in North Saanich. This innovative project, funded with close to $3 million from the federal Gas Tax Fund, captures thermal energy to supplement heating requirements for the recreation centre's pool.

"Canada's Gas Tax Fund supports environmentally sustainable municipal infrastructure that contributes to cleaner air, cleaner water and reduced greenhouse gas emissions," said the Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, on behalf of the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. "Turning wastewater effluent into a productive energy source is an innovative way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Saanich."

"This innovative project that extracts heat from wastewater helps to reduce greenhouse gases and is proof that funding from the Gas Tax Fund is helping to make a positive difference in the lives of families in the CRD," said Saanich North and the Islands MLA Murray Coell.

"The federal Gas Tax Fund is playing a vital role in supporting innovative technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions produced by local government operations," said Union of British Columbia Municipalities President Barbara Steele. "The Capital Regional District is to be applauded for developing this project to utilize waste heat from its treatment plant."

"This system represents an innovative and exciting chapter in resource recovery for the Peninsula communities," said CRD Board Chair Geoff Young. "The heat recovery project prevents approximately 560 tonnes of greenhouse gas from entering the atmosphere every year, which is the equivalent of taking 100 cars off the road. The program is an excellent example of resource recovery in the Capital Region."

The Saanich Peninsula system functions as a closed loop system, which means that supply water never exits the pipes. Heat is transferred from wastewater effluent to clean water through the use of heat exchangers. The temperature of the water is increased to a useable level using a heat pump system and the heated water is then pumped and distributed through a network of pipes to its intended destinations.

The program represents one of the ways the CRD is honouring its commitment to maximizing energy efficiency and exploring renewable energy strategies. Implementation of the wastewater thermal energy recovery program will provide a net energy savings of approximately $77,000 annually for the CRD.

The project's completion was celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony and free public swim on Friday, June 24, 2011 at Panorama Recreation Centre.

The Gas Tax Fund is a tripartite agreement between Canada, British Columbia and UBCM that delivers infrastructure funding to local governments primarily for capital projects that lead to cleaner air, cleaner water or reduced greenhouse gas emissions. UBCM administers the Gas Tax Fund in B.C. in collaboration with Canada and British Columbia.

For further information on the Government of Canada's infrastructure investments in British Columbia, visit Creating Jobs. To learn more about Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit Canada's Economic Action Plan.

For more information:

Vanessa Schneider
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities
613-991-0700

Jeff Rud
Communications Director
Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development
250-953-3677

Paul Taylor
Relationships and Communications Advisor
Union of BC Municipalities
250-356-2938

Andy Orr
Senior Manager-Communications
Capital Regional District
250-360-3229

Infrastructure Canada
613-948-1148
Or Toll-Free 1-877-250-7154

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