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HRM Council Approves Negotiations for Sewage Treatment Plants - New Deal Offers Advantages over Old Contract

(Tuesday, October 21, 2003) HRM Council today approved a staff recommendation to enter negotiations and take another positive step forward for the design and building of three sewage treatment plants (STP) as part of the Harbour Solutions Project (HSP).

Negotiations will be with the Harbour Solutions Consortium (HSC), made up of Degremont, Dexter, Black & MacDonald, Pomerleau and Harbour Engineering. These firms were sub-contractors of the former private partner, Halifax Regional Environmental Partnership (HREP).

Despite the fact HRM is negotiating with the same firms that made up the previous contractor, Council believes that a better deal is on the table. "Careful analysis and comparisons between the HREP contract and the HSC proposal show potential savings for the entire HSP," Mayor Peter Kelly said.

In addition to potential cost savings, the new proposal offers technical improvements over the old contract. HRMs relationship with HREP terminated when HREP proposed fundamental changes that would have shifted responsibility for quality control over the sewage treatment plants discharge or effluent from HREP to HRM.

"Under the new proposal, while HRM is responsible for effluent quality, there are options to help ensure we continue to meet effluent guidlines. It also allows us the scope within our financial projections to accommodate more aggressive source control and treatment upgrade," Mayor Kelly said.

One of the keys to helping meet quality standards is an aggressive source control or pollution prevention program. As the STPs will also receive discharge from various industries and businesses, it is critical that this discharge respects the limits outlined in HRM's Wastewater Discharge Bylaw, W-101. An aggressive source control program and a wastewater characterization study will become a key part of the HSP.

"With respect to the flexibility this deal may allow, technical improvements to the plants are possible under the new proposal. These improvements would allow us to add compatible "partial biological" treatment options to the advanced-primary systems. We can also upgrade the three plants to full secondary treatment, should that ever become necessary at any time in the future," Mayor Kelly said.

With the steps taken today, Council hopes to continue the momentum to move this critical community project forward.

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For Further Information, contact:

Mayor Peter Kelly

Halifax Harbour Solutions Project


October 21, 2003

  • The Harbour Solutions Project (HSP) will be a major benefit to the environment as it will result in the diversion and treatment of raw sewage that is currently flowing into the Halifax Harbour.
  • The HSP can be divided into two key components, the Sewage Collection System and the Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs).
  • Construction work on the collection system will start this fall and see several kilometres of piping put in place leading to the future sites of the STPs.
  • In August 2003, HRM contracted with Dexter Construction to design and build the collection system. The final contract price will be no more than $115.7 million and cover the new sewage collection systems, including the construction of roads, outfalls and diffusers at the three sewage treatment plant sites.
  • On October 21, 2003, HRM Council approved a staff recommendation to enter negotiations with the Harbour Solutions Consortium for the design and construction of the STPs. The negotiations are subject to obtaining the necessary approvals from Infrastructure Canada.
  • Staff is to return to Council with a report on the status of the negotiations within eight weeks.
  • The three STPs will be located in Halifax, in Dartmouth on land formerly occupied by the Coast Guard and at Hospital Point in Herring Cove. All three plants will provide advanced-primary treatment of the sewage flow.
  • Advanced-primary treatment removes up to 70 per cent of the suspended solids in the wastewater stream. In addition, all of the wastewater will be treated with high intensity ultra-violet light to kill any remaining bacteria before the wastewater is discharged into the harbour.
  • The advanced-primary treatment process to be used in HRM's three STPs, combined with an aggressive source control program for the wastewater system, has already received Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) approval, granted in February, 2003.
Above content last modified Wednesday, May 22, 2024 at 4:36pm.