Wastewater from approximately 100,000 people in the City of Nanaimo, Snuneymuxw First Nation, and parts of Lantzville is treated at the Greater Nanaimo Pollution Control Centre (GNPCC). Wastewater is gravity fed and pumped to GNPCC via three pump stations: Wellington Pump Station, Departure Bay Pump Station and Chase River Pump Station. The Chase River Pump station also has a septage receiving site that accepts septage from residential onsite (septic) systems and wastewater from pump-and-haul properties.
The GNPCC uses chemically-enhanced primary treatment to remove 30 to 40% of biological oxygen demand (BOD) and 50% of total suspended solids (TSS). GNPCC is one of two primary treatment plants remaining in the region. Upgrades are underway to provide secondary treatment to improve effluent quality. Secondary treatment is able to remove up to 90% of BOD and TSS.
Biosolids, a soil-like material produced during the wastewater treatment process, are managed in a Forest Fertilization Program and Soil Fabrication Program. Learn more about Biosolids Management in the RDN.
GNPCC treated over 10 billion litres of wastewater in 2019. Treated wastewater is discharged into the Strait of Georgia 2,030 m offshore at a depth of 70 m.