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Southwestern Ontario HELP Clean Water infrastructure project complete

The project was comprised of eight components, each with an engineer and a contractor, ranging from upgrades to existing water treatment plants, the twinning of the pipelines, a pipeline monitoring system, and a new reservoir and pumping station in London.


A ceremony was held in London, Ont. to mark the completion of HELP Clean Water (Huron-Elgin-London Project Clean Water), a multi-year, $176 million dollar regional infrastructure program designed to provide a reliable source of safe, clean water to more than 500,000 people living and working in Southwestern Ontario.

After 14 years of planning, financing, and construction, the HELP Clean Water project was comprised of eight project components, each with an engineer and a contractor, that ranged from upgrades to existing water treatment plants, the twinning of the main transmission pipelines, and a pipeline monitoring system, a the new reservoir and pumping station in London.

The components included:

  • Elgin Area Primary Water Supply System: Pipeline Twinning — the construction of approximately 17 m of 900mm transmission pipeline between the water treatment plant near Port Stanley and the terminal reservoir northeast of the City of St. Thomas (Stantec).
  • Lake Huron Primary Water Supply System: Pipeline Twinning — the construction of a total of 8.5km of 120mm transmission pipeline in the areas of Mt. Carmel in South Huron and near Ailsa Craig in North Middlesex (Stantec).
  • Lake Huron: Backup Generator — installation of 10 megawatts of emergency backup generation (MVA Engineering)
  • Elgin Area: Water Treatment Plant Residue Management — construction of a treatment system to treat the residue from the water treatment processes (AECOM).
  • Lake Huron: Water Treatment Plant Residue Management — construction of a treatment system to treat the residue from the water treatment processes (CH2M Hill).
  • Lake Huron Transmission Pipeline Acoustic Fibre Optic Monitoring System — installation of a fibre optic monitoring system to monitor long-term transmission pipeline deterioration and leak detection (Stantec).
  • Elgin Area Filter Replacement — replacement of the dual media filters at the water treatment plant with a higher capacity and more efficient filtration system (R.V. Anderson).
  • London’s  southeast reservoir and pumping station (AECOM)

The Southeast Pumping Station and Reservoir is the largest and most costly of the eight project components of HELP at a total cost of $55 million. Its multi-function operation is to ensure a safe and secure city-wide water supply, to provide servicing to fast-growing, newly developed land in southeast London and to help defer future expansions to the Elgin Area Water Treatment Plant, which is the southern source (Lake Erie) of London’s water supply.

In 2008 the governments of Canada and Ontario approved matching funds of up to $50 million each in support of HELP Clean Water.