The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) wants public feedback on a proposed $2.4-million project that could finally connect the last 32 Alta Lake Road properties to the community’s sewer system.
After reviewing alignment options and public comments, the municipality came back with what it deems “the most cost effective approach” to the longstanding issue: constructing a shallow bury sewer along Alta Lake Road. The RMOW says the project costs are $1 million less than other available options.
If residents agree, the municipality will provide a standard residential lift station to any property that requires it.
Homeowners will have to foot the cost of installation, estimated at $16,100 once fees and service charges are factored in, and will have 730 days to connect to the system.
Residents are asked to provide feedback by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 604-935-8190.
Alta Lake Road is the last area in Whistler not serviced by a sanitary sewer, and evidence that failing septic systems are leaking wastewater into adjacent ditches has raised the concern level at Municipal Hall.
For years, the RMOW has been calling on senior levels of government to provide funds for the infrastructure project, similar to the sewer project in Emerald, but nothing has ever worked out.
Several residents have spoken out about the pricey project, which has been greatly reduced from previous proposals, saying that septic tanks on most of the properties in the area are in perfect working condition.
“They've been testing for 15 years and they've found nothing,” said Alta Lake Road resident Paul Matthews in an August interview. “Quite probably, the reason they never get the grant is that there's no problem.”
While municipal staff has acknowledged there’s little concrete evidence of environmental damage to the lake, there is worry over the potential for the aged systems to fail in the future.
“It is nonetheless important to proceed with this project, and provide modern sanitary sewers to the last remaining neighbourhood without them,” read a RMOW report from the summer.