City Awards Largest Construction Contract in Municipal History

City Awards Largest Construction Contract in Municipal History

On September 4, 2018, Council for the City of Port Alberni unanimously passed a motion to award the main construction contract for the upcoming Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrades project to Tritech Group for $17,128,429.53 plus GST - the largest construction contract awarded in the City of Port Alberni’s history.

The Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrades project (the Project) is slated to break ground in late September/early-October 2018, and will take approximately two years to complete. When complete, the Project will:

• improve effluent quality

• provide enhanced environmental protection

• increase operational capacity

• meet current Canadian wastewater treatment standards.

Key aspects of the Project include constructing a new aeration system, adding solids screening and ultraviolet light disinfection to the treatment process, constructing a new outfall 800 metres into the Alberni Harbour and improving effluent dispersal with the addition of five sub-surface diffusers.

The City will also be upgrading the former Catalyst lagoon which was purchased by the City in 2012. This innovative reuse of industrial infrastructure allowed the City to proceed with the upgrades at a fraction of the cost of building a new plant. Other benefits associated with this much larger lagoon include increased operational capacity, system redundancy and improved effluent quality. At the end of the project, the old City lagoon will be decommissioned and returned to nature as wetland habitat.

"Upgrading the Wastewater Treatment Plant is an important and necessary step in the City’s continuing efforts to improve the quality of life in Port Alberni while at the same time lessening our impacts on the surrounding environment. When considered together with the City’s ongoing storm and wastewater separation projects, the new Wastewater Treatment Plant will have a significant positive effect on the health of the Alberni Harbour, Somass River and neighbouring estuary," said Tim Pley, City of Port Alberni CAO.

To date, the City has spent: $5.3 million to purchase the Catalyst lagoon; $1 million on engineering and environmental studies; $1.9 million on the removal of sludge from the newly acquired lagoon; and now $17.1 million on the main construction contract.

To help pay for the Project, the City pursued a number of provincial and federal grants. In 2017, the City received 6.9 million from the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund (CWWF). When combined with the $11.2 million received in 2011 from Government of Canada’s GasTax Fund, the City’s has now received approximately $18 million in grant funding for the Project.


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