French Creek Pollution Control Centre: Expansion and Odour Control Upgrades

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French Creek Pollution Control Centre (FCPCC) treats wastewater from about 27,000 people and businesses in Qualicum Beach and Parksville and the service areas of French Creek, Pacific Shores, Surfside, and Barclay Crescent. FCPCC also treats trucked waste from homes with septic systems and holding tanks. FCPCC currently provides Secondary Treatment which is the provincial and federal requirement.

The RDN is developing a $48.5 million expansion and odour upgrade to:

  • increase plant capacity by about 30% and meet the service area demands to 2040,
  • improve operational efficiency and replace aging infrastructure in the existing plant,
  • incorporate extensive odour control upgrades for the existing plant,
  • include odour controls for the expansion, and
  • contribute to carbon neutrality by using solar panels and recovering heat from treated effluent.

FCPCC is also participating in a Contaminants of Emerging Concern Planning Study to:

  • monitor wastewater for the presence of some unregulated substances,
  • provide insight into the ability of different treatment technologies to remove contaminants of emerging concern, and
  • support future decision making regarding future treatment levels.

How you can get involved

To stay informed of project updates, please:

  • "Register" and "subscribe" using the tabs on the right-hand side of the page. By doing so you will receive occasional emails with project updates.
  • Review the background documents. Content will be added as the project progresses.
  • Provide feedback through the Odour Survey on the tab below.
  • Explore this webpage to find out more.

To report an odour

If you detect odours coming from FCPCC, you can report it directly to plant staff by calling:

  • 250-248-5794 during business hours or
  • 1-800-862-3429 after hours.

All odour reports are recorded and investigated. We encourage you to make your report as soon as you can so we can accurately investigate the cause (and sometimes relieve the odour).

French Creek Pollution Control Centre (FCPCC) treats wastewater from about 27,000 people and businesses in Qualicum Beach and Parksville and the service areas of French Creek, Pacific Shores, Surfside, and Barclay Crescent. FCPCC also treats trucked waste from homes with septic systems and holding tanks. FCPCC currently provides Secondary Treatment which is the provincial and federal requirement.

The RDN is developing a $48.5 million expansion and odour upgrade to:

  • increase plant capacity by about 30% and meet the service area demands to 2040,
  • improve operational efficiency and replace aging infrastructure in the existing plant,
  • incorporate extensive odour control upgrades for the existing plant,
  • include odour controls for the expansion, and
  • contribute to carbon neutrality by using solar panels and recovering heat from treated effluent.

FCPCC is also participating in a Contaminants of Emerging Concern Planning Study to:

  • monitor wastewater for the presence of some unregulated substances,
  • provide insight into the ability of different treatment technologies to remove contaminants of emerging concern, and
  • support future decision making regarding future treatment levels.

How you can get involved

To stay informed of project updates, please:

  • "Register" and "subscribe" using the tabs on the right-hand side of the page. By doing so you will receive occasional emails with project updates.
  • Review the background documents. Content will be added as the project progresses.
  • Provide feedback through the Odour Survey on the tab below.
  • Explore this webpage to find out more.

To report an odour

If you detect odours coming from FCPCC, you can report it directly to plant staff by calling:

  • 250-248-5794 during business hours or
  • 1-800-862-3429 after hours.

All odour reports are recorded and investigated. We encourage you to make your report as soon as you can so we can accurately investigate the cause (and sometimes relieve the odour).

  • FCPCC Project will Contribute to Carbon Neutrality

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    18 September, 2020

    At the Regular Board meeting on September 15, 2020, the RDN Board approved the addition of the following items to the project to contribute to carbon neutrality in the region:

    1. Recovering Heat From Effluent - This will offset all natural gas heating for the new expansion process building and reduce the equivalent greenhouse gas emissions by 11.24 tonnes a year. This is a 91% improvement over natural gas.
    2. Adding solar panels to the roof of the new expansion process building - 144 solar panels on the roof of the new expansion process building will produce an estimated 44.7kW of electrical power and offset the purchase of power from BC Hydro. This system would reduce the equivalent greenhouse gas emissions by 2 tonnes a year.

    The new expansion process building will also have a wood exterior over a steel frame to compliment the Wood First for RDN Facilities Policy and the Green Building Policy for RDN Facilities.

  • Project Information Posters Available

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    16 October, 2019

    Project information posters are now available in the Background Documents.

  • VIU Odour Monitoring Preliminary Results

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    15 October, 2019

    Preliminary monitoring results indicate that some odour controls at the existing plant are working effectively and others require maintenance:

    • The existing biofilter is effectively reducing odours
    • The chemical scrubber requires maintenance
    • The biological scrubber also requires maintenance.

    Improvements underway now:

    • FCPCC operators are currently troubleshooting repairs on the chemical scrubbers. FCPCC operators will focus on the biological scrubbers next.
    • We are testing a charcoal filter on the septage receiving station. VIU will sample this in the upcoming months to assess its effectiveness.

    Additionally, these odour control upgrades are being incorporated into the project design:

    • The odour upgrades will aim to minimize or eliminate nuisance odours so they are not detectable outside of the property boundary:
    • Existing biofilter media will be upgraded to treat foul air from the expansion
    • A new biofilter will be added to treat foul air from the trickling filter
    • Trickling filter window and roof seals will be improved.
  • We Have Reached the 60% Detailed Design Milestone

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    15 October, 2019

    A full set of project drawings is under review by RDN engineering and operations. The next step in the design process will be a 90% Detailed Design package, followed by the final Issued for Tender (IFT) drawings and specification package.

  • October 9, 2019 - Public Information Session

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    20 August, 2019

    For updated information on this project, please attend our Public Information Session:

    Wednesday, October 9, 2019
    4PM – 6PM
    Oceanside Place - Multipurpose Room (Upstairs)
    830 Island Highway West, Parksville

  • Opportunities to Learn More - Office Hours and Open House

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    17 April, 2019

    Want to learn more about this project?

    Drop in to one of our office hours at Oceanside Place or join us for our Open House at the French Creek Pollution Control Centre.

    Office Hours:

    Oceanside Place in the Meeting Room (upstairs)
    830 Island Highway West, Parksville

    Tuesday, May 14, 2019
    10:00 – 12:00

    Thursday, May 23, 2019
    2:00 – 4:00

    Tuesday, May 28, 2019
    10:00 – 12:00

    Thursday, June 6, 2019
    2:00 – 4:00

    Open House:

    French Creek Pollution Control Centre
    957 Lee Road, Parksville

    Saturday, June 8, 2019
    10:00 – 12:00

    Tours of the plant will be available
  • March 27, 2019 - Public Information Session

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    21 February, 2019

    For more information on this project, please attend our Public Information Session:

    Wednesday, March 27, 2019
    4PM – 6PM
    Oceanside Place - Multipurpose Room (Upstairs)
    830 Island Highway West, Parksville

  • VIU to Monitor Odours at FCPCC

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    19 February, 2019

    The RDN has partnered with the VIU Applied Environmental Research Laboratories to implement a state of the art odour monitoring program to fingerprint French Creek Pollution Control Centre’s current odour emissions.

    This monitoring program will:

    • Use mobile mass spectrometry instrumentation to analyze molecular fingerprints associated with specific odour-producing substances
    • Map chemical concentrations of a set of target compound classes including reduced sulfur compounds, amines, hydrocarbons and volatile fatty acids. Mapping will be done both at the French Creek Pollution Control Centre and in the surrounding neighborhood
    • Analyse the odourants associated with human activities and natural sources including wastewater treatment, green waste production, agriculture, as well as natural marine and freshwater sources
    • Assess the seasonal variability in odour sources and regional distributions
    • Recommend potential odour control measures.

    The proposed monitoring program will start in March 2019 and run for a year with multi-day sampling campaigns in spring, summer, fall and winter. Program results will inform the design of the upgrades and produce recommendations to improve air quality, reduce odour complaints related to FCPCC, and enhance the overall quality of life for neighbouring residents and visitors.

  • Contract for Detailed Design, Tendering and Construction Services Awarded

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    19 February, 2019

    At the Regular Board Meeting on July 24, 2018, the RDN Board awarded the Engineering Services contract for the detailed design, tendering and construction services for the French Creek Pollution Control Centre Stage 4 Expansion Project and Odour Control Upgrades to AECOM for $2,506,980.

  • Peer Review Exercise will Optimize Plant Design and Performance

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    19 February, 2019

    Preliminary design of the FCPCC Expansion and Odour Updgrade Project was completed in 2018. A peer review of the preliminary design will optimize the detailed design phase, going on now, so the constructed plant performs well and operates efficiently.