North Shore Wastewater Treatment Plant

Business & Development -
Major Project Status
Current Projects

Wastewater treatment is the process of removing contaminants from wastewater collected from homes through the sanitary sewer system. On the North Shore, primary treatment has been done at the Lions Gate Wastewater Treatment Plant, located under the Lions Gate bridge, for the last 55 years. Primary treatment is mainly a mechanical process that removes between 30 and 40 percent of waste. Secondary treatment is a biological process that removes up to 90 percent of waste before the effluent is released into the ocean.
In 2012, the federal government announced new regulations that require Canadian wastewater treatment facilities to provide secondary treatment by 2020.
Update March 12, 2021
The new North Shore Wastewater Treatment Plan was initially scheduled to be completed by December 31, 2020. Due to several challenges, such as difficult ground conditions, seismic resilience requirements, space constraints, geotechnical complications, contractual issues and Covid-19, the new completion date is estimated to be 2024.

  • the updated estimate of $1.058 billion reflects the cost of the new treatment plant, related conveyance infrastructure and preliminary design to decommission the old plant.
  • the governments of Canada and British Columbia are providing $405.3 million.
  • the remaining costs will be borne by Metro Vancouver.

All Metro Vancouver communities contribute to capital costs of upgrading regional wastewater treatment facilities, which protect the environment and human health. The capital costs will be allocated as follows:

  • 54%  across the entire region
  • 45% by the North Shore communities using the new facilities

Once complete, North Shore users will pay 100 percent of the operating costs.

The impact on your utility bill

  • the projected levy to West Vancouver residents that was indicated in the Sewer & Drainage Utility Rates adopted by Council in December 2020 will not change.
  • starting in 2017, in anticipation of the North Shore Wastewater Treatment plant’s upcoming costs, the District began planning incremental rate increases to the sewer & drainage utility fees.

Project benefits

  • the new plant will provide wastewater treatment to more than 200,000 residents in the districts of West and North Vancouver, the City of North Vancouver, and the Squamish and Tsleil-WaututhNations.
  • the final plant will be a LEED Gold and ENVISION Gold facility that meets the latest seismic standards, accounts for future sea level rise, and incorporates cutting-edge technology for integrated resource recovery, greenhouse-gas reductions, odour abatement and energy efficiency.
  • in the interest of better protecting the environment, Metro Vancouver is upgrading the North Shore Wastewater Treatment Plant to full tertiary treatment. This will reduce the release of potentially harmful contaminants into the sensitive marine environment, mitigate and future-proof the plant against subsequent regulatory changes; additionally, it will reduce future costs because incorporating tertiary technology now is more affordable than adding it at a later date.
  • the new plant will also provide district energy, contributing to Metro Vancouver’s commitment to become a carbon-neutral region, It will provide 5,700 tonnes of GHG reduction credits per year to Metro Vancouver and 1,200+ tonnes of GHG reduction credits per year to BC Hydro and Lonsdale Energy Corporation.

Environmental benefits

  • cleaner discharge will support a cleaner water body and marine ecosystem.
  • odour-free facility
  • disinfection of reclaimed water will use ultra-violet light and sodium hypochlorite, not chlorine gas


  • the new facility will be located in the District of North Vancouver on lands owned by Metro Vancouver, at 1311 West 1st Street
  • the current treatment plant will be decommissioned and turned over to Squamish Nation, on whose land it is located.

More information

Visit Metro Vancouver’s website for more information on the Wastewater Treatment Plant.