Liquid Waste Management Plan 2023

Liquid Waste Mangement Plan Survey 2023 (4)

Further to the announcement of a $395,000 grant from the Union of British Columbia Municipalities Strategic Priorities Fund through the Government of Canada's Canada Community Building Fund to develop a comprehensive Liquid Waste Management Plan (LWMP), the City of Nelson has now initiated the process. Upon completion, Nelson will have a 20-year plan that outlines policies and projects to facilitate the management of wastewater resources.  

What is Liquid Waste? 

Liquid waste is commonly referred to as wastewater and includes sewage, stormwater runoff, and anything that ends up in the City’s collection system through toilets, drains, pipes, and gravity runoff through manholes. The collection system is composed of sanitary sewers and storm sewers.  

  • Sanitary Sewers – collect liquid waste originating from toilets, sinks and pipes within households, restaurants, hotels, etc., are conveyed through the collection and transmission system to the treatment facility where contaminants are removed and disinfected effluent is discharged to the receiving environment.
  • Storm Sewers – capture stormwater and other surface runoff that drains from roads, lawns, roofs, parking lots, etc. and is diverted towards natural creeks and rivers. Given the contamination present on these surfaces, the water has the potential to become contaminated before entering the receiving environment.

What is a Liquid Waste Management Plan?

An LWMP is a process in which all the issues related to liquid waste for a community are identified and used to develop and implement a community-specific solution with the structure of a regulatory document. This plan will be agreed upon by both the municipality and the Minister of Environment. 

 A primary objective of any LWMP is to ensure the protection of health for the public and the environment. 

The LWMP process includes a comprehensive consultation process, with inputs from local, provincial and federal governments, members of the public, Indigenous communities, and other groups of interest. 

LWMPs are developed in three stages, as set out by the Minister of Environment. 

The Stages are as follows:

Stage 1: Define problems and identify options related to liquid waste in a community, including collection, treatment, discharge, and reuse. In this stage, the objective is to identify all the issues and possible alternatives, so interest groups can present their preferred alternatives.

Stage 2: Develop and evaluate preferred options. The evaluation can consider multiple objectives such as technical complexity, capital costs, the ability to be phased, and operating issues/costs.

Stage 3: Document and adopt the plan. 

Why develop an LWMP? 

The City currently operates an aging wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) at Grohman Narrows that requires updating. While the LWMP will review all aspects of how liquid waste is managed in the City, determining the next steps on the WWTP will be a major outcome. 

 Completion of the LWMP allows the City to move efficiently from planning to construction in terms of regulatory requirements and engagement with Indigenous communities and the public.

What does Nelson’s current waste management system look like? 

Nelson owns and operates around 80 km of gravity sewer mains, 5 km of force mains, seven (7) lift stations, a Pollution Control Centre (PCC), a gravity outfall to the Kootenay River, and a comprehensive stormwater system. The City has completed multiple assessments of the current conditions of the collection and transmission system as well as the WWTP  in recent years. These assessments have highlighted various areas throughout the wastewater treatment process that could benefit from an LWMP process. There are elements of the treatment process that are nearing their treatment capacity or have already met their capacity. 

How can I get involved? 

A key component across all stages of an LWMP is engagement through the community within and surrounding Nelson, including Indigenous communities, environmental groups, and other groups of interest. 

The best way to get involved is by sharing your input!

        • Stay Informed: continue to our website page and City of Nelson social media platforms to get updates on the progress of the project and information on upcoming engagement opportunities. Email with questions you may have. 
        • Apply to be on the Advisory Committee*: The Advisory Committee will be responsible for ensuring that community interests including those of residents, businesses and other interested parties are considered in the development of the LWMP.  View the Terms of Reference here
        • To submit your interest, email with ‘Advisory Committee’ in the subject line by Friday July 7th, 2023. 

Please include:  

      • Name & address  
      • Recent committee member experience 
      • A brief description of your interest in this project
      • Willingness to be available during the project timeline 
                • * note – not all interested parties will be chosen.

Projected Timeline*:

Gather Input: Spring 2023

Stage 1 Report – Issues, Options, and What We Heard: Spring/Summer 2023

Council Feedback on Stage 1 Report: Fall 2023

BC Ministry of Environment Review of Stage 1 Report: Fall 2023

Stage 2 Engagement Plan: Winter 2023

Stage 2: 2024*

Stage 3: 2025*

*Timeline will be updated for Stages 2 and 3 following completion of Stage 1.