Prince Edward Island’s city of Charlottetown is known for its historic museums and many tourist attractions. It is commonly referred to as the 500 lots referring to the original borders of the city which were divided into five sets of 100 lots. The city is on a pathway to improvement from its older, less reliable sewer system. A planning committee for the sewer rehabilitation project has assisted in bringing to fruition a new and improved collection system to its residents. The strategy begins with the improvement of the two sewage digesters at the city’s Riverside Drive treatment plant. The digesters take the solids out of waste and change into a liquid form, and ultimately into heat and electricity. The sewer upgrade is a multi-million dollar project and an advancement from the city’s outdated system of combined sewers which collected sewage from residential, commercial and industrial properties, as well as stormwater, which directed the flow to the city’s wastewater treatment plant. When it rained or snowed heavily, the precipitation would mix with untreated effluent, exceeding the capacity of the treatment plant and excess water that contained untreated sewage would flow into the harbor. Improved management of storm water will assure the continued functioning of the sewer system under heavier storm conditions.
The city is also using combined resources to combat the recent issues of flooding with initiatives for climate change, as it pertains to flooding throughout the province. Interestingly, Vancouver also has significant opportunities to enhance innovative management approaches using green infrastructures. A local study used assessment values to estimate that a vast majority of real estate within the city is at risk from sea level rise by the end of the century. Additionally, it is suggested that the annual national costs of coastal flooding damage could significantly increase in the coming decades.
Fun fact: Prince Edward Island’s famous red soil gets its color from the high iron content which oxidizes when exposed to the air.