The rapid growth of the population in Metro Vancouver’s eastern communities also brings thousands of new flushing toilets each year.
And that is forcing the regional district to embark on a major $550-million expansion of its Annacis Island sewage treatment plant.
The plant serves most of Burnaby, the Tri-Cities, Delta, Surrey, White Rock and parts of Langley, Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge.
It was last expanded in 1998 to handle a population of one million, but the new expansion will allow it to serve another 250,000 residents in its catchment area.
Metro’s board in September awarded a $47.3-million contract to JJM Construction Ltd./Geopac Inc. for the first year of work to prepare the ground and relocate utilities.
It was the lowest of five bidders with proposals ranging from $53.8 to $60.9 million. A lower final price was negotiated after some project elements were removed.
The ground improvement work includes the installation of 9,000 stone columns to help provide seismic protection during a major earthquake.
The Annacis expansion is to be built in two phases, with the first phase to be finished in 2018 and the second stage in 2022.
The project should not drive up taxes for existing Metro residents, said board chair Greg Moore, because it is being funded through development fees on new construction.