Cumberland, B.C. — The Village of Cumberland is receiving $5.7 million in federal funding for a new wastewater lagoon system.

The funding will come out of the Canadian government’s Green Municipal Fund.

“It’s our sewage system and it needs to be upgraded,” Cumberland Mayor Leslie Baird said. “We’ve been out of compliance for a number of years, and the work that we plan on doing will bring us into compliance.”

She added, “It’s a welcome Christmas present.”

The first phase of the project involves adding mechanisms to reduce bypass flow in wet weather, while removing more phosphorus and suspended solids from wastewater being released into the environment, according to a government release.

The second phase will add a second dissolved air flotation system to increase treatment capacity, and an innovative biochar media reed bed to remove contaminants such as pharmaceuticals.

According to the release, “this investment will allow Cumberland to meet standard requirements for lagoon systems and increase its capacity to serve a growing population. The more efficient new system will also allow the Village to make the most of municipal resources and reduce its impact on the environment.”

Baird noted that the funding announcement was “really welcome,” adding that the village also applied for a provincial grant roughly a year ago, regarding the lagoon.

“We’re waiting to hear back from that one to see if we are approved, because it will make the costs a lot less for the residents,” Baird said.

Today’s funding announcement came from Canada’s minister of infrastructure and communities François-Philippe Champagne, and Federation of Canadian Municipalities president Vicki-May Hamm.

“This high-performance new wastewater treatment system in Cumberland will better protect local waterways and ecosystems while supporting a high quality of life for residents for years to come,” Champagne said.

Hamm added, “Today’s announcement highlights how municipal leaders understand both the needs on the ground and local solutions that work. They are innovating to build more sustainable, resilient and livable communities.”

About GMF

The Green Municipal Fund (GMF) is a $625-million program to support innovative solutions to environmental challenges.

According to the federal government, projects funded under the program improve air, water and land quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and generate economic and social benefits for local communities.

A total of $26.9 billion of this funding will support green infrastructure projects.

The newsroom has reached out to Cumberland Mayor Leslie Baird for comment.