Upgrades to sewage treatment plants could cost $1.3 million


By Barb McKay


Upgrades are needed at both the Kincardine and Bruce Energy Centre sewage treatment plants, but they won’t come cheap.


Representatives from the Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA) attended the Municipality of Kincardine council meeting on Nov. 18 to discuss the results of an inspection of the waste water plants, which turned up two major issues. The surface mixers at the Kincardine plant do not maintain adequate oxygen levels during the summer months and the mixers are prone to freezing and ice damage. The blower system at the BEC consumes too much energy and there is no automated control to regulate oxygen levels.


OCWA is proposing aeration upgrades to both plants that would extend the life of the facility and improve energy efficiency. The proposal for the Kincardine plant involves aeration system upgrades, a new 75-horsepower blower, a 100-horsepower blower from the BEC and a dissolved oxygen control system. The larger blowers would need to be housed in a prefabricated building that comes with an estimated price tag of $200,000.


The BEC improvements would include removal of the existing blower in favour of a smaller 50-horsepower blower and a dissolved oxygen control system.


Overall, with equipment, labour, engineering fees and a 15 per cent contingency fund, the project would cost $1.29 million.


Indra Maharjan of OCWA told council that the proposed solution would make the treatment plants more efficient and would reduce maintenance costs. The municipality could also stand to receive more than $82,000 in Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) incentives and save 413,000 kilowatt hours of power which, using current rates, would translate to $49,500 in annual energy cost savings.


Councillor Randy Roppel asked if reducing the size of the blower at the BEC would impact development in the future.


“Will it handcuff us?” he asked. “Will we still be able to handle the extra capacity?”


Maharjan said the municipality would retain the 100-horsepower blower and could re-install it in the future if needed.

Seamus Anderson, who manages the wastewater facilities said oxygen levels at the plants are an issue and the proposed improvements would also reduce the amount of ammonia that is coming out of the Kincardine plant, which he said is quite high.


Councillor Andrew White asked what the cost would be to upgrade only the Kincardine plant as the needs at the BEC aren’t as pressing. Maharjan said that roughly 70 per cent of the project cost is for the Kincardine plant and completing upgrades to the two facilities at the same time is more cost effective. The total project would take between seven and nine months to complete.


Council will discuss the plan during its upcoming municipal budget meetings.