With a total budget of $48 million, the upgrade of the Owen Sound Wastewater Treatment Plant is the largest construction project ever undertaken by the City of Owen Sound.
The main objective of these upgrades are:
To upgrade the treatment process to include secondary treatment and Ultraviolet Disinfection. This will allow the plant to treat wastewater better in accordance with Provincial and Federal policies and regulations.
The project will also improve the reliability and performance of the existing plant by improving and refurbishing many older components.
The City of Owen Sound Wastewater Treatment Plant is a primary wastewater treatment facility originally built in the early 1960’s, with one major upgrade in the 1970’s, and it has undergone some minor upgrades since that time. The plant currently serves approximately 22,000 people and many commercial, institutional, and industrial customers.
The plant currently has an average rated capacity of 24,545 cubic metres
per day and a peak capacity of 82,537 cubic metres per day. The capacity does not have to be upgraded since the plant is currently at less than 50% capacity.
The components of the preliminary preferred alternative for upgrading the Owen Sound WWTP include:
- Rehabilitation of existing wastewater treatment processes and buildings
- Addition of secondary treatment using Biological Aerated Filter (BAF) technology on the current plant site, complete with pumps, mechanical works, and other related equipment.
- Addition of an effluent diffuser to the current outfall pipe which discharges the final treated water to the Bay.
- Addition of biosolids storage to provide enough storage for the current population, plus the additional biosolids generated by secondary treatment.
- Conversion of chlorination to ultraviolet (UV) disinfection
Work on the Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrade officially got underway in late 2011 and early 2012 with the completion of a Class Environmental Assessment and the confirmation of funding from the senior levels of government. In late 2012, the contract for the consulting engineering work was awarded to J.L. Richards and Associates in partnership with Conestoga Rovers and Associates.
The construction tender was awarded in July 2014 to Graham Construction and Engineering LP. The work is expected to be completed before the winter of 2016/2017.
Project Features and Benefits
There are a number of benefits from the project, including:
- The upgrade of the Owen Sound Wastewater Treatment Plant is the largest capital project the City has undertaken; the upgrade to secondary treatment is necessary to meet Federal and Provincial regulations for wastewater quality.
- The project will provide an improvement to the reliability and performance of the existing plant by refurbishing and replacing many primary treatment components.
- The proposed upgrading will also improve biosolids treatment and management by adding more liquid biosolids storage to provide adequate storage capacity
- Methane gas from the digestion process at the plant will continue to be used as an energy source for building heating.
- The protection of Georgian Bay will be a priority both during and after construction.
The Government of Canada is providing up to $15 million through the Green Infrastructure Fund toward eligible project costs, while the Province of Ontario is contributing $15 million.
The City of Owen Sound will contribute the remaining eligible project cost of $15 million, plus an additional $3 million of costs most of which are not eligible for grant, including interim financing costs. This amount is being funded through Water and Sewer rates. To date, the City has set aside approximately $1.4 million in reserves to assist with its share of the project. The remaining portion will be funded through a combination of reserve contributions and long-term borrowing.
First Nations and Metis Consultation
The following First Nations and Metis organisations were consulted in the course of the project:
- The Saugeen Ojibway Nation
- The Great Lakes Metis Council, affiliated with the Metis Nation Ontario
- The Historic Saugeen Metis
Waste Water Treatment Plant Site
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