North Shore Wastewater Treatment Plant Project

Project Update - March 2021 

About the Project

The North Shore Wastewater Treatment Plant Project will replace the existing Lions Gate Wastewater Treatment Plant and bring wastewater treatment for the North Shore to a higher level of treatment before it is released back into Burrard Inlet. It will be one of five wastewater treatment plants operated by Metro Vancouver on behalf of the region.

About this Newsletter

This newsletter is a joint update from Metro Vancouver and ACCIONA for the North Shore Wastewater Treatment Plant Project. This update includes new information related to project technology and schedule.

Pictured below: formwork, rebar and digesters facing southwest winter 2021

What’s New?

Upgrading to Tertiary Treatment

In the interest of better protecting the environment, we have updated the design of the new North Shore Wastewater Treatment Plant so that it will provide tertiary treatment instead of secondary treatment. Adding tertiary treatment, a filtration system that removes additional substances from the treated wastewater, ensures that the treated wastewater released into the marine environment is much cleaner. This level of treatment will exceed federal regulatory requirements for treatment technology.

The upgrade to tertiary treatment reflects the input Metro Vancouver received from key stakeholder groups and participating First Nations. It also reflects our commitment to protect the environment and strengthen the quality of life in our region for current and future residents.

Schedule Considerations

The treatment plant is now anticipated to be complete and fully operational in 2024. As this project has progressed, we have embraced significant opportunities for our region, including the update to the plant from secondary to tertiary treatment. We have also experienced many challenges, such as difficult ground conditions, seismic resilience requirements, space constraints, geotechnical complications, contractual issues, and COVID-19 – all of which contributed to delays in construction.

What's the Same?

Project Benefits and Initiatives

While there have been updates to the treatment technology and project schedule, overall, the project components and initiatives identified as community priorities during the planning stages remain the same. For example, the treatment plant will include the following key features:

  • Modern, world-class odour abatement system with an enclosed design that will control odour from the plant.
  • Water conservation through harvesting and reusing rainwater outside of the plant and conserving and reclaiming water within the plant.
  • Integrated design with interpretive elements and environmental sustainability – the treatment plant is being constructed to LEED and ENVISION Gold standards.
  • Community elements, including new amenities such as a public plaza, education spaces and community meeting spaces.

Next Steps

In the coming weeks, we’ll share more on current and upcoming activities, including an update on construction sequencing on West 1st Street and what to expect as the project progresses.

We appreciate the disruption that construction can cause and want to thank you for your continued patience as work on this essential infrastructure project continues. Both Metro Vancouver and the project teams remain committed to minimizing construction-related impacts and are continuously looking for new opportunities to incorporate mitigation measures.

Please continue to share your feedback through our dedicated Project Community Liaison Officer at 604-928-7810 or by email at We value our neighbours and your input.

Pictured below: view from tower crane facing east winter 2021