Welcome to the District of Tofino's webpage dedicated to information regarding the Liquid Waste Management Plan process. This page is where you will find up to date information regarding siting, meetings, community consultation and frequently asked questions.

Latest News:

2020 - We’re evaluating options for the Waste Water Treatment Plant (Read News Release)

We recently received bids for the construction of the waste water treatment plant, sanitary sewer improvements and new sewer outfall, and were extremely disappointed when the submitted tenders exceeded the project budget by an average of $29 million. This cost discrepancy is particularly frustrating as we deliberately took extra steps to get to an accurate project cost, including an extensive cost review involving design consultants, value engineers, and a class “A” cost estimate prepared by a quantity surveyor.

Please be assured that we will not be increasing the amount our taxpayers contribute to the project beyond the amount committed to the project in our budget. This means we won’t move forward with this project until the funding gap is addressed through additional grants or we are able to find a way to bring the costs down.

We also know this is an important project for our community, partners and neighbours, and we will be working with the federal and provincial governments to look at how we can get the project back on track as soon as possible.

We will keep our community, partners and neighbours informed about our progress, and we encourage you to learn more about the project on this webspage. 

2019 - Tofino Receives over $40M in Funding for Waste Water Treatment Project

Read more about the funding received from Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program Environmental Quality Stream HERE

2018 - LWMP Open House

Presentation slides from the September 18, 2018 Open House can be viewed HERE

2018 - Cost Estimate Update

On July 31, 2018, an Open House and Council Meeting outlined new cost estimates and design details for the waste water treatment plant. The capital cost estimate has more than doubled from the amount estimated in 2017. Learn more by reading LWMP Newsletter #7 and the information listed below which provide answers to common questions, such as:

How Much Will It Cost? How Will Tofino Pay For It? Why Have Costs Gone Up So Much? What Are The Impacts To Taxation and Utility Fees? What is the District Doing To Reduce Costs?

2018 - The "Liquid Waste Management Plan Stage 3 Final Report" was adopted by Council and approved by the Ministry of Environment.

The Joint Liquid Waste Management Advisory Committee has been dissolved, however once we are further along in the process, applications for a LWMP Monitoring Committee will be advertised on the District website, in the Westerly News and via social media.

Follow the links below to these FAQs and check back here for more ways to stay informed!

| View LWMP Documents, Agendas & Minutes, and Resources |


The JLWMAC was established in order to advise staff and Council on matters related to the development of the Liquid Waste Management Plan (LWMP), and dissolve automatically upon completion of the LWMP Stage 3 Report.

The completion of the Stage 3 Report was a significant milestone and accomplishment, and the District would like to thank the public and Committee members for their commitment and engagement in the process.

Find the Final Report and more below.

HOW much will it cost?                             

The capital and operations & maintenance costs of the four components have increased significantly since the LWMP was last presented to the community and approved by the Minister of Environment. As the project progressed from the concept, to preliminary design, and now to detailed design, earlier assumptions have been reviewed in greater detail, resulting in higher project cost estimates.

Total project costs are estimated at $55,224,000.

We understand that this is of significant concern to tax payers, and for the District's borrowing capacity. District staff, together with the design team, have begun investigating what features or components can be eliminated, reduced, or phased out while retaining a plant that meets the original objectives of a robust, simple-to-operate system that complies with federal regulations. The current cost break down is as follows:

Grant Funding: The District is applying for a 73.33% grant under the federal Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program “Green Infrastructure: Environmental Quality Stream” in the amount of $40,211,239.

District Funding: TThe current project estimate commits the District to fund $15,012,761, to be financed by tax payers. A loan authorization bylaw is being considered to borrow up to an amount of $16,002,000 for a 30 year term to cover these costs, with debt servicing costs at $896,420 per year.

Operating Costs: An estimated $612,182 per year is budgeted to cover operations and maintenance costs.

Contributions are anticipated from users outside of the District such as Parks Canada, Ahousaht First Nation and Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation but are not confirmed at this time and are not included in cost estimates noted above.

Impacts to Taxation

Based on 2018 taxable values, the current distribution of property taxes, and the assumption that property taxes will service the debt, each property class will be taxed as follows:

Property Class


Debt Servicing Tax

% Tax Burden



  $    478,811




$         3,629




 $    398,583




 $      15,393




$                3




$    896,419


The majority of debt servicing will be paid by the residential and business classes based on their proportion of assessed values and the ratios set by the Province.  The following table provides the tax rates to be applied against each $1,000 of assessed value to determine the estimated tax bill as it relates to debt servicing of the WWTP if $16,002,000 is borrowed:

Property Class

Tax Rate












The calculation to determine the impact on your property as it relates to servicing the debt for the WWTP is:

  • Assessed Value of Your Property/1000 x [Tax Rate Listed Above]

The following tables show 2018 total tax bill amounts for a range of assessed values and what the annual levy for Wastewater Treatment debt servicing will be if $16,002,000 is borrowed. 

The residential tax bill will increase by an estimated 11% based on borrowing $16,002,000 for the WWTP.



2018 Tax Bill

WWTP Debt Servicing














A tax bill for a property in the business class will increase by an estimated 12% based on borrowing $16,002,000 for the WWTP. 



2018 Tax Bill

WWTP Debt Servicing













Impacts to Utility Fees

As the District does not currently treat sewage, sewer utility fees are based on 90% of water utility fees.  Once the wastewater treatment plant and associated infrastructure begin to operate, there will be an estimated 91% increase to sewer utility fees to cover the annual costs of sewage treatment.


Current Annual Sewer Charge

Total New charge (+91%)

Average Residential Customer (216 m3)



Residential with B&B (274 m3)



Commercial – Recreation (600 m3)



Commercial – Hotel (15,170 m3)




NOTE: The increase to the operating budget is an estimate only and is subject to change. 



Secting a site for a waste water treatment plant has been a three-phase process:

Phase  1


Site options and overall concepts were considered by the Joint Liquid Waste Management Advisory Committee (JLWMAC), and narrowed down to a shortlist of four sites for further examination.

Phase 2


Consultants determined the high-level technical and financial information for each shortlisted site, and the Committee considered the social implications of the locations. From the short list of four sites, the Committee narrowed the selection initially to one, then – based on public feedback – added a second site, and directed consultants to gather more detailed information. DL114 and DL117 were considered for the final location.


After two Open Houses, consultation with community members and stakeholders, and receipt of the “Phase 2 Assessment Report” from our consultants, the JLWMAC recommended DL117 (near the top of Industrial Way). On October 25, 2016, District of Tofino Council passed the following motion:

Resolution No. 372/16

THAT District of Tofino Council endorse DL117 as the location for the District Wastewater Treatment Plant as recommended by the Joint Liquid Waste Management Advisory Committee at the October 18th, 2016 meeting.

Phase  3


Council has adopted the Final Stage 3 Report, and it has been approved by the Minister of Environment. The wastewater treatment plant will be located on DL 117, at the north east end of Industrial Way. A racetrack extended aeration process was selected as the secondary treatment process to be used at the new wastewater treatment plant.

In October of 2016, District of Tofino Council endorsed DL117 (near the top of Industrial Way) as the location for the District wastewater treatment plant, as recommended by the Joint Liquid Waste Advisory Committee.

To learn more about how DL117 was selected, including detailed site assessments and community consultation, please view the “Phase 2 Summary” available in the Resources Section below.

A racetrack extended aeration process was selected as the secondary treatment process to be used at the new wastewater treatment plant, more information is listed in the "Secondary Treatment Process Selection" document below.

It is not unusual for wastewater treatment plants to be situated close to residential and community infrastructure.

Comprehensive odour control, such as influent screening and solids dewatering, is included with both of the modern treatment processes being considered for Tofino, which will significantly reduce odour risks. This means that although there is always a possibility of process upsets and fugitive odours, under normal operations outdoor odour at the treatment plant will be minor and should be negligible at the fence line.

Currently, the proposed site is a minimum of 150 metres away from residential neighbourhoods, including a 50 metre tree buffer which further reduces odour risks and limits visibility to passersby. 


Documents and Resources


Community Newsletters and Information:

Joint Liquid Waste Management Advisory Committee (JLWMAC):

Other Resources: