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Montreal launches massive plans to repair its sewer and water infrastructure

In a serious effort to rehabilitate its entire water infrastructure, the City of Montreal is in the middle of a sel...


In a serious effort to rehabilitate its entire water infrastructure, the City of Montreal is in the middle of a selection process to find firms to carry out the work.

One project on the blocks is to put in place a master plan for rehabilitating the sewer and aqueduct network across the entire territory of Montreal. Another project is to upgrade the city’s water supply facilities. A third project is to install water metres in industries and businesses across the city.

Studies carried out two years ago by SNC-Lavalin, Dessau-Soprin and Price Waterhouse concluded that the city needs to take drastic measures to overhaul its water systems. The study estimated that an investment of approximately $4 billion is necessary over the next 20 years, and that 33 per cent of the water conduits and 3 per cent of the sewer network have already reached the end of their service life.

To address the problem, the city wants to finance a “global” plan for water management and has created a special Water Fund with an initial investment of $25 million. It is calling for the federal and provincial governments to provide financing as well.

The city has indicated that it wants companies selected to show they can provide long-term guarantees on a contractual basis: the selected firm must “be able to respond to increased expectations in terms of guarantees of reliability for any work that will be carried out. As a result, the city intends to eventually incorporate into any eventual contracts, certain clauses designed to unite any selected firms around the high standards that the city wants to attach to its water management policies.”

On October 25, the city of Montreal will be sending out documents to all firms who met the criteria for the first round of calls for tenders, and the opening of calls for tenders for the work starts on November 23.