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Owen Sound improves wastewater discharge to Georgian Bay

Construction began last month on major upgrades to the Owen Sound Wastewater Treatment plant in southern Ontario.


Artist's rendering of the Owen Sound Wastewater Treatment Plant, Ontario.
Artist's rendering of the Owen Sound Wastewater Treatment Plant, Ontario.

Construction began last month on major upgrades to the Owen Sound Wastewater Treatment plant in southern Ontario.

The $49-million project is the largest construction project to date undertaken by the city of approximately 22,000 people. The city sits on the shores of Georgian Bay in Toronto’s cottage country.

J.L Richards & Associates (Kingston office) is the prime consultant on the design, with Conestoga-Rovers & Associates as subconsultant.

The existing plant dates from the 1960s, but it had a major upgrade 10 years later.

Its capacity does not need to be expanded, as is still working under 50% capacity at 24,500 cubic metres per day on average, and a peak of 82,500 cubic metres per day.

However, to meet federal and provincial wastewater guidelines the treatment process is being upgraded from primary treatment to secondary treatment with biological aerated filter (BAF) technology. The work involves upgrading the buildings, and adding new pumps, mechanical works and other equipment.

Ultra-violet (UV) disinfection is also being added to further improve the quality of the final discharge. An effluent diffuser is being added to the current outfall pipe into an inlet of Georgian Bay

The project to upgrade the plant dates from late 2011 when a class environmental assessment was undertaken. It is being funded by the federal, provincial and municipal governments.

Graham Construction and Engineering is the contractor doing the work, which is expected to be completed before the winter of 2016.