VICTORIA -- After four years of construction, Greater Victoria’s new wastewater treatment plant has officially begun treating the region’s sewage.

The $775-million plant on McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt has been under construction since its approval in 2016.

The plant treats wastewater from Victoria, Esquimalt, Saanich, Oak Bay, View Royal, Colwood, Langford and the Songhees and Esquimalt nations.

The project includes a biosolids treatment facility at Saanich’s Hartland Landfill.

The new facility features 24-hour odour control measures, leaving no detectable waste odour in the community, according to a statement Tuesday from the federal, provincial and regional governments.

The project was funded with $221 million from the federal government, $248 million from the province and $316 million from the Capital Regional District (CRD).

Canadian Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna says the commencement of operations at the plant will save energy and preserve wildlife in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, where wastewater was previously discharged.

B.C. Premier John Horgan congratulated the CRD on the operational milestone, saying the province will “continue to support initiatives like this one that protect our environment and create jobs for generations to come.”

CRD board chair Colin Plant said he is “very pleased” the region is meeting its regulatory requirements for wastewater treatment and thanked residents for their patience during the construction phase.