June marks the beginning of a $3.6 million upgrade to Kitimat’s sewage plant to bring it in line with modern treatment standards.
“The Pollution Control Centre was built in 1970 and has been operating continuously ever since,” said District Technical Services Manager Wayne Sussbauer. “Most of the equipment is obsolete.”
He said while the plant was originally designed and built to cope with a population of 20,000 people, it was built to less exacting standards as are required today for the treatment of effluent.
“In 2014 we completed an assessment to look at the difficulties we experienced with service levels during the Kitimat Modernization Project,” said Sussbauer.
“We also evaluated the existing facility to take into consideration future growth.”
The assessment identified a need to complete a full retrofit of the plant, which included replacing the entire aeration system in the lagoon, three screw pumps and the electrical motor control centre, as well as installing additional screening to remove solids and grits from the effluent and installing a backup generator for the facility.
Two thirds of the funding for the project was secured through an infrastructure grant from the federal Building Canada fund, the remaining $1.2 million drawn from sewage reserves.
He said now is the ideal time to complete the retrofit, with a stable population, before any future growth occurs resulting from the anticipated industrial expansion in the district.
Sussbauer said the consultant responsible for the design and construction monitoring is OPUS International out of Vancouver.
The contractor that won the tender to complete the work for just over $2,060,000 is Kitimat-based Western Industrial Contractors, who will mobilize in the next two weeks.
Sussbauer said treatment levels will not be affected by the upgrade, which is set to be completed by