The Salish Sea Needs Tertiary Wastewater Treatment

Did you know Metro Vancouver’s largest wastewater treatment plant, Iona, discharges undertreated sewage directly into the Salish Sea?

Current plans are for the Iona Plant to be upgraded to the minimum standard of secondary treatment by 2030. There is no question that a higher standard, tertiary treatment, should be implemented as soon as possible to protect local waters.

Tertiary treatment is the best option for Metro Vancouver communities because it will prevent the largest quantity of harmful toxins like nitrogen, ammonia, metals and microplastics from polluting the Salish Sea.


With planning for the upgrade of the Iona Plant underway, there is an exceptionally rare opportunity to incorporate tertiary treatment into the current upgrade. Increasing wastewater treatment at the Iona Plant to tertiary now will be a significant step towards tackling the issue of pollution in the Salish Sea, and support the health of its inhabitants and surrounding communities.

Thank you to everyone who took action! Public consultation on the upgrade to the Iona Plant ended on June 8, 2020.

This project is a collaboration between Georgia Strait Alliance and Obabika.