The McLoughlin Point Wastewater Treatment Plant (MPWWTP)

What’s that Smell?


What We Have Been Told About the McLoughlin Point Wastewater Treatment Plant:

  • The McLoughlin Point Wastewater Treatment Plant (MPWWTP) was designed and built by Harbour Resource Partners (HRP), a consortium of AECOM Canada and Graham Infrastructure.

  • As per the Core Area Wastewater Project Agreement between the CRD and HRP, the plant was designed such that odour laden air at the plant will be captured and treated prior to discharge such that all air exhausted from the plant will contain a maximum odour concentration at and beyond the plant site boundary of less than five odour units per cubic metre (not perceptible).

  • The odour treatment systems are designed with sufficient redundancy in place to allow for all normal maintenance activities to occur without interruption or reduction in the level of odour treatment and without exceeding the plant site boundary concentration limit.

  • There are three pump stations which pump the residual solids from the McLoughlin Point Wastewater Treatment to the Residuals Treatment Facility.

  • The pump stations’ state-of-the-art odour control systems are designed to contain and suppress odours to ensure “there is no discernible smell in the community.”

  • The Capital Regional District (CRD) took over operational responsibility for the MPWWTP on January 13, 2021.

  • Up to $1 million will be payable (based on performance) to HRP after the completion of the two-year performance period.

Commissioning Issues

  • Staff have discovered that depending on the type of maintenance activity, the three month and six month major plant maintenance cycles generate some odour due to open tank hatches and exhaust fans not maintaining negative air pressure.

  • The pipelines (forcemains) between the pump stations, and to and from the pump stations, are pressurized forcemains and air is relieved from these forcemains.

  • This air is forced through odour control equipment to reduce odours in the vicinity of these air release valves.

  • The chambers in which the air release valves are located appear to be frequently inundated by groundwater rendering the odour control equipment ineffective.

  • The majority of complaints fielded by the CRD have been related to odour from the MPWWTP.

How We Can Help


The CRD, with the assistance of Harbour Resource Partners, has taken over commissioning responsibility for the MPWWTP, with the commissioning period for the Plant ending January 13, 2023. It may be helpful for residents to keep the CRD informed when and where sewage odours are detected so that deficiencies will be remedied in a timely and effective manner. To that end, we can

  • request that the Mayor and Council of Esquimalt send out a letter encouraging residents to log such odour complaints;

  • notify the CRD and the Township of Esquimalt whenever and wherever odours are detected; and

  • request the Mayor and Council of Esquimalt to set up a hot link to an odour detection website to make it easy for residents to log odour complaints.

All the above information is extracted from one of the following reports: CRD Wastewater Treatment Project, Governance Transition Report, May 17 2021, Core Area Wastewater Treatment Commissioning Activities Update Capital Regional District, October 2021, Report to the Core Area Liquid Waste Management Committee Meeting of Wednesday July 28, 2021

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