State-of-the-art UV technology brings new benefits to the Squamish River

New technology that uses UV light to disinfect effluent discharge to the environment has become a game-changer for the treatment of human waste at the waste water treatment plant in Squamish. The ultraviolet (UV) sewage disinfection project will significantly improve the water quality of the effluent entering the Squamish River beyond provincial standards, and positively impact the health of the surrounding ecosystem.

“The District strives to maintain and exceed the highest standards when it comes to water and effluent discharge quality,” says Mayor Patricia Heintzman. “The investment into this green infrastructure delivers enduring benefits to the community by further enhancing the health of our rivers, our ecosystem and our environment.”

The technology uses ultraviolet light to disinfect wastewater effluent, thus further reducing the discharge of bacteria into the natural environment. Initial test results from water samples taken after UV treatment are extremely positive and significantly surpasses provincial permitted levels.

“Technology is allowing us to further decrease our collective impact on the environment, with very positive results,” says the District’s General Manager of Community Planning and Infrastructure Gary Buxton. “This powerful UV technology emits ultraviolet light to significantly reduce bacteria on a 24/7 basis, 365 days per year.”

Consulting engineers on the project are adding their own praise for this new technology. "This is the first project in Canada that utilizes the latest generation of UV lamp technology in an inclined install orientation to reduce the overall project carbon footprint in energy savings, lamp replacement savings, and all other lifecycle cost savings," says Stantec Senior Associate Miles Yi.

The project is part of the Squamish Liquid Waste Management Plan which provides guidance to the District for management of liquid waste and sanitary sewage issues over a 20-year span. The District received federal Gas Tax Funding for the $1.2 million project in the amount of $952,000.

To learn more about the District’s waste water system and Liquid Waste Management Plan visit

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April 13, 2017

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