Harbour Clean-Up

October 31, 2014

Representatives from the federal, provincial and municipal governments marked the final milestone of Saint John’s Harbour Clean-Up project – a harbour 100 percent free of raw untreated sewage.

Map from 2008
Map from 2014

Harbour Clean-Up is something the City of Saint John committed to – for our public health, our natural environment, and general community and economic development.

A waterfront and waterways free of untreated sewage will allow the City to meet its environmental obligations for municipal wastewater. The project will also enhance quality of life in the City.

A lot of work and preparation over many years has gone into bringing Saint John closer to its goal of a clean harbour.

Project History

Common Council adopted a plan for Harbour Clean-Up in October 2006. The Plan of Action for Saint John Harbour Clean-Up was sent to the Province of New Brunswick and the Government of Canada in November 2006. Funding for the Harbour Clean-Up program was announced in March 2007.

The Province of New Brunswick committed funding in October 2006. A Contribution Agreement was signed in September 2008 between the Government of Canada and the City covering the Federal share. The Contribution Agreement consists of: the Eastern Wastewater Treatment Facility; and a collection and pumping system to send all wastewater to one of three major treatment facilities.

Construction of the Eastern Wastewater Treatment Facility began in April 2009 and was completed in 2011.

More information about the treatment plant is available here.

The wastewater collection and pumping system requires 24 new lift stations and forcemains/collector sewers be constructed.

To date construction on 23 of the lift stations is complete with only the Mill Street – Sanitary Lift Station construction remaining to be completed.

Commissioning (start-up) of the constructed lift stations should be completed by end of 2013.

The construction completion date for the final lift station under the Harbour Clean-Up Program is July 2014.

Project Milestones






The wastewater strategy is developed


The Harbour Clean-Up Project begins


Completion of the Harbour Clean-Up Project

 40% of system users serviced with treatment
  56% of system users serviced with treatment
  100% of system users serviced with treatment
23,000 m3/day of wastewater discharged untreated
 16,000 m3/day of wastewater discharged untreated

 0 m3/day of wastewater discharged untreated

* wastewater treated: West (76%), Millidgeville (85%) and East/Central (43%)

How do you “clean up” the harbour?

The Harbour Clean-Up is a series of projects to redirect old sewer pipes that currently empty into the harbour, to wastewater treatment facilities.

There are two main projects: building the Eastern Wastewater Treatment Facility and building a collection and pumping system to move all wastewater to one of three major wastewater treatment facilities. The goal of the project is to eliminate every point where untreated sewage empties into the harbour.

A lift station is a point in the sewer system where the wastewater needs to be pumped (lifted) to a higher elevation so that gravity can be used to bring the wastewater to the treatment facility.

A forcemain is a pipe that transports sewage under pressure from a lift station to a point where other pumps or gravity can take over in moving the sewage to a treatment facility.

A collector sewer is a sewer that gathers sanitary flows from individual buildings.