More work pending for the wastewater pollution control center


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Further maintenance and upgrades are planned at the Sarnia Wastewater Pollution Control Center.


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Sarnia recently approved a more energy efficient fan, so the city can save costs when there is less effluent to treat in the facility’s grit and aeration tanks.

Three of the four most powerful blowers – all still in good condition – will remain in place, said operations services manager Bryan Prouse.

“A smaller fan will suffice during these low flow times to save energy this way,” he said.

The $ 176,000 contract was recently awarded to Birnam Excavating Inc. and the energy savings are expected to cover the cost within three years, he said.

“We may change others in the future,” he said. ” We do not know yet. “

A $ 300,000 contract for a standby generator was also awarded to Canadian Structural & Mechanical Ltd.

An existing generator at the St. Andrew Street site is sufficient to power two of the four raw sewage pumps, Prouse said.

“We need all four raw sewage pumps to be available during periods of wet weather, so we need back-up power for the other two. “

Without that capacity, it could mean sewer backups and flooded basements, he said.

“We don’t want to go.

The recently approved contracts are in addition to the $ 1.5 million equipment replacement costs already approved this year at the 20-year-old on-site sludge management facility.

That job, which is expected to take a two-month downtime and an estimated $ 600,000 contract in the interim to haul its crap elsewhere, is expected to begin in December or January when the equipment is expected to arrive, Prouse said.


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A second phase of $ 3.5 million that would involve the purchase of a third centrifuge is scheduled for 2022, pending council approval.

$ 300,000 is also requested for 2022 to replace one of the raw sewage pumps.

A draft plan provides for roughly the same amount each year for the next four years until all four are replaced.

Another $ 4.5 million in unspecified equipment replacement costs is also planned for 2023-2026.

“We’re getting to the point where some part is past its life,” Prouse said of equipment at the aging Sarnia facility that officials say is most at risk for catastrophic failure.

“We have sufficient capacity there, it’s just that the processing equipment itself gets old and wears out and we’re spending way too much time fixing it,” Prouse said.

The constant breakdowns of the sludge management facility result in long hours and overtime costs, he said.

“Night work, weekend work and whatever you have to catch up on, and it’s very expensive,” he said.

Instead, the money that would have been used to maintain the facility in recent years has been directed towards ongoing sewer separation work to reduce the pressure on the facility and the likelihood of sewage ending up in the facility. the St. Clair River during storms, said the general manager of operations and engineering. David Jackson.

The city had to put money into this effort to use the grants, he said, “so we didn’t have a budget available to make improvements to this processing plant.”


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With this year’s investments, and more, the sludge treatment facility is expected to be in a much better position around this time next year, he said.

About $ 6.1 million in ongoing sewer separation work is planned, pending council approval, for 2022.

Another capital budget request of $ 700,000 is also pending for the draining of the Bright’s Grove lagoons.

And an additional $ 100,000 is being asked to pave a roadway at the water pollution control center.

“We’ve had issues there with trucks going on the wrong roads and hitting things,” Prouse said. “We are trying to avoid this.”

The funding would create a road around the perimeter and prevent trucks from entering the busiest areas, he said.

Council deliberations on the budget are scheduled for December 7.

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