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Council considers upgrade to Wellington wastewater plant

Under pressure from the environment ministry to supply adequate backup power to the Wellington wastewater treatment plant, council must examine taking on long-term debt of more than half a million dollars for upgrades and repairs.

The County received tenders from its call in January to complete four main components of work – including supply and installation of a new backup generator, replacement of four blower units and motor control centre and building exterior repairs and driveway extension.

As the tenders were in excess of the capital budget, staff revised the scope of work to only include the high priority components – the generator and motor control centre – resulting in two tenders, also in excess of the available budget.

A $534,587 contract to Selectra Inc and an increase of $62,092 to the capital budget funded by long-term debt, is being recommended.

While the Master Servicing Plan (MSP) is under way, the municipality is obligated to meet current regulatory standards, noted Garrett Osborne, project manager, in his report to council.

The MSP is needed to accommodate immediate and long-term growth opportunities to fully “build out” the Secondary Plan Area, and identify, evaluate and prioritize infrastructure upgrades for water, wastewater and stormwater management services.

The study has identified that an expansion or replacement of the wastewater treatment plant will be required to meet future effluent criteria objectives and limits. The exact timing, design and costs are unknown.

That is why, Osborne noted, staff prioritized each component of the project to ensure upgrades would be able to be incorporated into a new, or expanded plant.

He explained that currently, standby electrical power is provided by a generator share with, but installed in the Wellington water treatment plant and “does not have enough capacity to cover the full WWTP operations including four blower units, during a power outage.|

Recent outages resulting in a reduced treatment process have raised compliance concerns from the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks.

“It is believed a ministerial order from the MECP to supply adequate backup power is imminent,” said Osborne.

The blowers, he noted, are older and relatively inefficient motors, but while they are still operational, are reaching the end of their useful life. The existing motor control centre – which receives incoming power to the plant and divides it into breakers which power each piece of equipment – is outdated and in need of replacement.

Staff is recommending council approve the tender from Selectra Inc. at $534,587 over the tender from Ferguson Electric at $833,000.

The decision comes to council at its meeting Dec. 17.

Filed Under: Local News

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  1. Andy Bowers says:

    When two very experienced contractors submit bids so far apart, one wonders if the complete requirements of the project are fully understood …

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