Maligne Lake has been re-introducing native grasses in previously impacted areas; this will help to restore ecosystem integrity and improve the quality of wildlife habitat in the area. Brewster will continue to regularly maintain existing trail facilities in the area.
Solar-powered Sewage Treatment
In 2004, leading edge solar-powered technology replaced the manner in which sewage at Spirit Island had been handled for the past 80 years.
At fourteen miles in length Maligne Lake is the largest natural lake in the Canadian Rockies. The pristine Spirit Island is located approximately two thirds of the way down Maligne Lake, accessible only by boat. Any sewage treatment assembly would therefore have to be low maintenance, low energy consumption, light-weight and sturdy while preferably generating no activated sludge and meeting extraordinarily high environmental standards whilst performing without a sewage field.
The solution? Leading edge solar-powered technology whereby sewage receives advanced secondary treatment in a water-tight, very small, fiberglass basin filled with an engineered textile material where anaerobic bacteria breaks down sewage.
A 1500 gallon fiberglass septic tank was towed to the site aboard two canoes lashed together to create a barge. Half a million pounds of concrete was transported by boat and then poured by hand to create the foundation. Rocks and gravel were hauled to construct the wheelchair ramp; lumber, shingles, doors, windows, water tanks, pressure tanks, pumps, solar panels and a ton of batteries all were moved to the site without the assistance of a single power tool, barring a boat.
It was an exhausting, labour-intensive effort but now there sits on the shore near Spirit Island a showcase of environmental sustainability and a far more pleasant visitor experience.