Dignitaries from three levels of government and the two communities of Abbotsford and Mission celebrated the completion of the multimillion-dollar upgrades to the JAMES Wastewater Treatment Plan on Friday morning.
The federal and provincial governments matched the municipal contributions and granted $2.17 million to improve the plant's water treatment system.
The project saw the purchase and installation of two new centrifuges that operate at extremely high speeds to force water from bio-solids and sludge at the plant.
The new dewatering system is expected to operate more efficiently, improve safety and water quality, and reduce operating costs at the Joint Abbotsford Mission Environmental Systems (JAMES) Treatment Plant.
Additionally, creating the drier biosolids have a positive environmental impact by reducing the amount of greenhouse gasses emitted during the hauling process to B.C.'s interior.
Approximately 95 per cent of the biosolids from the JAMES Treatment Plant are trucked to the Highland Valley Copper Mine near Logan Lake to be used for mine reclamation purposes.
Abbotsford MP and International Trade Minister Ed Fast, Abbotsford-Mission MLA Randy Hawes and the mayors of Abbotsford and Mission, Bruce Banman and Ted Adlem pointed to the benefits of cooperation between the three levels of government and the two Fraser Valley communities.
"Our Government recognizes that it is important to work together with our provincial and municipal partners to find innovative solutions that meet our infrastructure needs," said Fast.
"I am pleased to see the results of this funding, which is providing modern, reliable infrastructure, and providing a solid foundation for the continued creation of jobs, growth and long-term prosperity."
Hawes said senior governments recognize the need to support infrastructure in local communities and the project helps protect the Fraser River ecosystem.
Adlem thanked the federal and provincial governments for their partnership and commitment to the project.
Nearly a quarter million people in Abbotsford, Mission, Langley and Sumas, WA. will benefit from the JAMES plant upgrades, said Banman, although few residents spend much time thinking wastewater treatment.
"Treatment plants are invisible, that is until they stop working," Banman said.
"It's critical to make investments to pass on a legacy of significant public infrastructure to future generations."