2012- McBride, the economic centre of the Robson Valley, is a vibrant, rural community. Forestry, agriculture, tourism and small business form the community's economic base. McBride's water and sewer infrastructure was in need of urgent upgrades and expansion in order enable the Village to issue new building permits and facilitate economic development in the community. McBride's wastewater system discharges directly in to the Fraser River, creating an adverse impact on a valuable natural resource that is directly tied to the sustainability of McBride and the Robson Valley.
In 2008, the municipality initiated an enthusiastic project that will see McBride's wastewater system transformed into a new modern facility, providing clean water to several new land developments in the village. This three-phase project includes the installation of adequate storm sewer lines, a second lagoon to prevent accidental release of raw sewage into river flow, and the creation of a new wetland. The creation and fostering of a wildlife habitat will serve to interpret and educate residents as well as tourists, showcasing a sustainable approach to wastewater treatment and rural industrial development. The plan has alleviated the immediate problems associated with the previous aging infrastructure, while also enhancing the quality of water discharged into the Fraser River and creating long-term benefits that improve McBride's overall community sustainability.
This project is part of a multi-year development that has been supported through two additional investments by Northern Development for Village of McBride projects:
"By the time we're done, if there is any discharge at all into the Fraser River it will be of far higher quality."
Christopher Morgan, Consulting Engineer, R. Radloff and Associates Inc.
"We had to look at what we're doing to the environment today and the impact on the Fraser River. This plan is self sustained. Nature is doing the work for us. We want to create jobs and bring more visitors here to enjoy this part of the valley."
Margaret Graine, Economic Development Officer, Village of McBride
Positive Economic Impacts in McBride
Prior to this project, McBride was unable to issue additional building permits as it lacked the infrastructure to support additional sewage treatment. With this new water and sewer infrastructure and the resulting capacity to safely and responsibly dispose of an increased volume wastewater, McBride will be able to pursue new growth opportunities for industrial, commercial, and residential land development.
The Village of McBride is already working on further phases of this multi-year project including construction of a new park and intrepretive trail system adjacent to this project that is focused on attracting tourists to McBride. This new park will also include three kilometres of trails, informative signs about the eco-systems this project is protecting and enhancing, as well as providing access to the Fraser River. This project is creating jobs, sports fishing opportunities, and year-round tourism in the Robson Valley.