The next phase of upgrades to Charlottetown’s wastewater treatment plant will cost about $6 million.
The Water and Sewer Utility committee met on Tuesday to put forward a motion that will see CBCL Ltd. handle the next phase of engineering work at the plant.
The matter still has to be vetted by the finance department and it requires the ultimate approval of city council.
The immediate work involves the installation of a primary clarifier. The existing two clarifiers were built in the 1970s but extra flow is coming in so a new device is required to handle the increase in volume. The city has decommissioned East Royaltys sewage lagoon, located between Bonnie Blink Drive and Robertson Road so wastewater generated in the neighbourhood is now pumped to the treatment plant on Riverside Drive.
This allows the city to focus on the upgrades to the plant and taking on the flow from Stratford later this year.
MacEwen describes what a primary clarifier will do.
“It’s really a large swimming pool where the wastewater comes into that swimming pool and the heavy solids settle to the bottom and we scrape those solids off.''
- Richard MacEwen
“It’s really a large swimming pool where the wastewater comes into that swimming pool and the heavy solids settle to the bottom and we scrape those solids off,’’ Richard MacEwen, manager of the utility, told The Guardian following the committee meeting. “When the water is a little bit cleaner it goes off to another part of our treatment process.’’
The entire project at the plant involves more than $58 million in federal funding to improve the environmental quality of the 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 will cover a total of 10 different projects.
The Town of Stratford is currently working on its lift station and force main and is expected to start pumping its waste over to Charottetown by summer or early fall.
“(All of these upgrades are meant) to deal with the wastewater flow in general so growth within the city of Charlottetown, of Stratford and of bringing on East Royalty,’’ MacEwen said.
Following is information about the now decommissioned wastewater lagoon in East Royalty:
- Charlottetown's Water and Sewer Utility Corp. operated the East Royalty Sewage Collection and Treatment System (lagoon) since the amalgamation of East Royalty in 1995
- The system, located between Bonnie Blink Drive and Robertson Road, was constructed in 187 and serviced more than 1,600 people
- It discharged to Wrights Creek
- The now decommissioned lagoon will be filled in and turned into green space
Stratford will cover all of the capital costs associated with their sewer lift station and force main while the Charlottetown utility will handle the capital costs for upgrades to the plant. However, once Stratford begins pumping sewage over to Charlottetown, they officially become a customer and will have to help pay the bank loan that was necessary to help with the plant upgrades.
In terms of capacity at the Riverside Drive plant, MacEwen said there are no concerns. Water consumption rose in the city from1995-2008 but has been in decline since.
“The amount of water that we are consuming (in Charlottetown) which then becomes wastewater is down to the amount that we were generating in the year 2000,’’ he said. “So, if you look at how much water we extract from our wellfields in the year 2000 it’s about the same as it is in the year 2020.’’
MacEwen attributes the decline in water consumption to effective conservation measures used by citizens as well as the metering program implemented by the city. Stratford is also on a universal metering system.