Engaging the community to design a sanitary system that respects and reflects cultural values
Macoah is the main village of the Toquaht Nation, located on the coast of Toquaht Bay in Barkley Sound, Vancouver Island. In fall of 2014, their sewer system was deteriorating rapidly—two of the ten sanitary septic fields had failed, and the remaining eight fields were nearing the end of their operational life and had begun experiencing problems.
Toquaht Nation and Aboriginal and Northern Development Canada were concerned that these failing systems constituted a public health concern to the residents of the community as well as an environmental, water quality concern to the near-shore waters and aquatic ecology of the area. To remedy the situation, Toquaht Nation retained our team to undertake a feasibility study, preliminary engineering, and detailed design/construction services project.
In the end, a septic tank effluent pumping system (STEP) was selected as the best option for the community. In this type of system, the major part of the organic solids is retained in the septic tank, making it much easier to operate and maintain the treatment works and downstream disposal. The successful construction of the new systems has allowed Toquaht to build 8 new homes to accommodate its members.
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