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Design contract for interim solution for wastewater treatment in Wellington moves forward

A $186,466 contract for detailed design of a new wastewater treatment plant equalization tank in Wellington was approved by council at its Committee of the Whole meeting Thursday.

The tank is an interim solution while awaiting the preferred long-term solution of a new waste water treatment plant, due to a timeline of one to two years to complete the Class EA process and one to two years for a detailed design.

“An interim solution is required to adequately manage peak flows and create additional capacity to support immediate population growth,” states Garrett Osborne, project manager, in his report. “Also, the interim solution investment has the ability to be incorporated into the preferred long-term solution.”

Constructing a new waste water treatment plan is a significant undertaking, he said.

“Interim solutions that would complement the replacement of the existing plant were considered to address financial planning, implementation phasing, developmental pressures, and cash flow limitations.”

CIMA Canada is recommended from three submissions studied following the request for proposal in June for detailed design of an equalization tank. Approximately $132,968.00 would be funded from Development Charges and $53,498.00 from long term debt.

It is projected the detailed design and tender ready documents would be completed in December with the project to be tendered in early 2022 and construction beginning in the spring.

The Master Servicing Plan (MSP) projects that by 2032 the total and permanent populations in Wellington will increase to 4,200 and 3,625 respectively, and at full build-out, the total population will plateau at 9,600 and the permanent population at 8,600.

“With these in mind, the MSP identified evaluated and prioritized necessary infrastructure upgrades for water, wastewater and stormwater management services.

The projections mean the current plant would be unable to service the Wellington urban area within the next 10 years.

“Also, it has been determined that inflow and infiltration of water (from precipitation, groundwater sources or illegal connections to the sanitary system) greatly contributes to bypass events which is especially evident during wet weather events.”

He states the current plan has a rated capacity of 1,500 m3/day and a peak hydraulic capacity of 4,550 m3/day. To satisfy at full build-out, the new plant will require a rated capacity 3,900m3/day, peak day flow of 10,440 m3/day and an approximate peak hour flow of 18,000m3/day.

The design and construction of a new wastewater treatment plant will also require a significant capital investment, estimated to cost $25 million.

“As per the Area-Specific Wellington Development Charges Bylaw, 28 per cent of the costs associated with this upgrade project shall be deducted as a benefit to existing users while the remaining amount shall be recovered through Development Charges.”

The master service plan identified an equalization tank as an interim solution – and it will buffer flows experienced at the plant during peak flows or extreme wet weather events.

“An equalization tank shall also help to achieve climate change resiliency within the wastewater treatment system. The design of the new WWTP may utilize the EQ tank for a similar purpose or as a treatment tank (clarifier, aeration, tertiary filter bed, or biosolids storage). EQ Tanks are identified as a Schedule B and due to the inclusion within the MSP Class EA, this project may proceed directly to the detailed design phase.”

The bylaw to authorize the agreement is to be brought forward to a future council meeting.

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