Sunday, March 7, 2021

Wallaceburg water treatment environmental assessment underway

The Chatham-Kent Public Utilities Commission has provided an update on the Wallaceburg water treatment servicing study and the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment taking place in the community.

“For the purpose of fulfilling the provincial environmental regulations, Chatham-Kent PUC (CK PUC) has initiated a Municipal Class Environmental Assessment Study to identify and re-evaluate alternatives for the existing, aging Water Treatment Plant (WTP) to meet the current and future needs of the Community of Wallaceburg, as well as neighbouring communities while satisfying industrial demands,” PUC officials posted on social media.

“Public input and comments are encouraged throughout the study. The Project Team will consult with the public and review agencies throughout the Class Environmental Assessment Study.”

More details on the study can be found, here.

For more information on the project, visit CK PUC’s municipal website at www.ckpuc.ca.

Back in May of this year, the PUC gave the go ahead for the environmental assessment to take place, along with approving an engineering firm to produce the preliminary designs for a brand new facility.

Wallaceburg Councillor Carmen McGregor, who is the chair of the PUC, told the Sydenham Current back in May the assessment process will take about a year to complete.

“The new plant would probably be constructed on the site of the (current) treatment plant,” McGregor said.

“This is a different style. It’s a more modern style that will move into the future… instead of putting band-aids on a 74-year-old building.”

Listen to the full interview between Councillor McGregor and the Sydenham Current from back in May:

The $771,437 proposal for consulting engineering services for the environmental assessment was awarded to CH2M Hill Canada Limited.

Jeannie Medeiros, engineering technologist for the PUC, said in a report the previous environmental assessment for the Wallaceburg Water Supply was completed in 2016.

As part of that environmental assessment’s preferred solution, and approved by the PUC on March 2, 2016, the existing Water Treatment Plant was to have upgrades and improvements made to it during a 10-year work plan.

“Upgrades and improvements have been ongoing but the capital costs of these upgrades and improvements have increased substantially to a point where the preferred solution needs to be re-evaluated,” Medeiros said in her report.

“It has not become cost effective to maintain and upgrade the existing Wallaceburg (Water Treatment Plant).”

On June 20, 2019, the PUC approved proceeding with a request for proposal
for engineering services to conduct the environmental assessment and was subsequently advertised back in February of this year.

“The project involves consulting engineering firms to carry out (an environmental assessment) and preliminary design for an energy efficient, state of the art water treatment plant, that is easily sustainable to the local population.” Medeiros said in her report.

“The proposed plant, once constructed, would replace the existing (water treatment plant) to meet the current and future needs of the community of Wallaceburg and the neighbouring communities, while also satisfying the industrial demands.”

Medeiros said as a part of this project, the PUC asked the respondents to investigate the possibility of meeting the demands of the North Chatham-Kent water distribution system.

Additionally, the study would also entail investigating the need to relocate the existing intake and water availability in the Chenal Ecarte to meet the future demand of the water distribution system.

A piped inter-transfer between two pressure zones, for example the North Chatham Kent water distribution system in Dresden and Eberts and the Wallaceburg water distribution system, during an emergency is also included in the scope, Medeiros said in her report.

Respondents were also asked to review the condition of the interconnection to the Lambton Area Water Supply System water system to the Wallaceburg water distribution system, Medeiros added.

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