Some residents of an upscale community just west of Calgary are looking into building a private waste water treatment plant so they can stop paying to have it hauled away.
Currently, homeowners in Elbow Valley West pay $440 per month to have several trucks per day pick up raw sewage and drive it to Calgary's treatment plant.
The developer installed a full flush sewage system and built a waste water line to connect with Calgary's sewage disposal pipes.
But years of negotiations have failed to produce an agreement for Calgary to take the community's sewage.
So now residents are looking at building their own small treatment facility at a cost of about $1 million. The 119 homeowners in the community would pay a levy to cover the cost of the project.
"It’d be great. It's great for the community. It's great for resale value. Right now there's a lot of people in the neighbourhood that probably don’t want to live there because of that extra $440 a month,” said community resident Dennis Busic.
The waste water would first be piped to a central treatment centre, said Shane Sparks, a hydrogeologist hired to design the system.
“And then from there it would be treated to advanced, secondary standards before discharging back into the soil. So it’s recycling back into the environment, the water that’s taken out of the ground in the first place,” he said.
Sparks said such localized treatment systems are becoming more common in Alberta.
“We probably have approval in the province for six or seven large systems like this, we have projects in Kananaskis, Jasper, Red Deer."
The proposed sewage disposal system would have to be approved by Rocky View County and Alberta Environment.
Proponents hope to have it completed by fall 2015.