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City of Charlottetown applies for millions in funding to upgrade water and sewer systems

Steven Stewart, superintendent of Charlottetown’s wastewater treatment plant, stands in front of the plant’s settling tanks. One of the projects the city has its eye on is increasing the capacity of the plant to handle future wastewater flows.
Steven Stewart, superintendent of Charlottetown’s wastewater treatment plant, stands in front of the plant’s settling tanks. One of the projects the city has its eye on is increasing the capacity of the plant to handle future wastewater flows. - Dave Stewart

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - Charlottetown’s Water and Sewer Utility has applied for more than $58 million in federal funding to improve the environmental quality of its water and sewage system.

Under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP), that money breaks down to $17.3 million from the city, $18.5 million from the province and $22.2 million from the federal government.

The money would cover about 10 different projects.

Steven Stewart, superintendent of Charlottetown’s wastewater treatment plant, inspects one of the sludge pumps in the basement of the plant. The city has applied for more than $58 million in funding (cost-shared by all three levels of government) to carry out a number of upgrades to the plant and to the water and sewer system.
Steven Stewart, superintendent of Charlottetown’s wastewater treatment plant, inspects one of the sludge pumps in the basement of the plant. The city has applied for more than $58 million in funding (cost-shared by all three levels of government) to carry out a number of upgrades to the plant and to the water and sewer system.

The top priority on the list is a $5.7-million upgrade to the wastewater treatment plant to handle future wastewater flows. That project is scheduled to start, pending funding approval, in May of 2020.

The city also wants to complete a water system interconnection between Cornwall, Charlottetown and Stratford in 2021.

“Probably a decade ago, there was a review of connecting all of the water supplies,’’ said Richard MacEwen, manager of the utility. “That would allow each municipality to seek assistance from another municipality in the event of a need.

“In an emergency situation, if somebody found themselves in need of water or in the future one community grows (or has) capacity issues, we could share that water.’’

Replacing aging underground infrastructure is another priority for the city. MacEwen said the city intends on completing water supply rehabilitation in the Nassau, Falconwood and Queen Street areas. The project is scheduled to start in June 2020.

The city also plans on replacing aging sewer liftstations, including pumping, valving and pipe replacements. Enhancements include new backup generation at medium-sized liftstations. These stations are located in West Royalty, Sherwood-Parkdale, Dorchester, Royalty Road, Walker Drive, Parricus Mead Drive and Lower Malpeque Road.

The province is also asking the city to complete an assessment on its operation.

“The province would like us to review the level of treatment that we provide at the wastewater treatment plant now and make sure that it is appropriate for the receiving waters,’’ MacEwen said.

Right now, the plant cleans the water that is pumped into the Hillsborough River to a level where people can safely swim in it.

Other projects include replacing some lead service lines, improving the ability to detect a leak in the system and keeping water that doesn’t need to be treated out of the system.

The city has also applied for $10.3 million in ICIP funding for what it calls climate change mitigation.

To an extent right now, the city uses solar power at its new Miltonvale wellfield. It wants to add more solar power at the Miltonvale wellfield and Winter River watershed.

The plan is also to install solar systems and combined heat and power systems at the wastewater treatment facility. The system would use biogas to produce heat and electricity. In addition, the city wants to install solar-powered systems at its sewer liftstations.


At a glance

Following are some of the projects the City of Charlottetown has applied to under the federal Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP):

  • Construct solar power systems at the Miltonvale and Winter River wellfields. Cost: $3.4 million
  • Increase capacity of the wastewater treatment plant. Cost: $5.7 million
  • Replace aging underground infrastructure in Nassau, Falconwood and Queen street areas. Cost $6.9 million
  • Complete water system interconnections between Cornwall, Charlottetown and Stratford. Cost: $6.9 million
  • Remediate East Royalty landfill site to complete site closure plan. Cost: $8.6 million
  • Rehabilitate aging sewer liftstations. Cost: $3.4 million

* Note: All projects are cost-shared among three levels of government


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