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Investigation Still Underway to Determine Cause of Halifax Treatment Plant Malfunction
(Tuesday, April 14/09) - An extensive forensic investigation into the malfunction of the Halifax Wastewater Treatment Facility has been underway since January. The cause has yet to be determined. A presentation by HRM staff and Halifax Water provided an update to Regional Council today.
“The cause of the malfunction is still unknown,” explains Mayor Kelly. “HRM’s priority is to ensure the Halifax plant is fully functional again. We will continue to investigate and are confident that this setback is only temporary and that water quality objectives, as set out by residents, will be met again.”
On January 14, 2009, the Halifax WWTF suffered wastewater flooding damage due to an extended local area power outage. As a result, the plant has been temporarily shut down and all wastewater previously routed through the plant is being screened and discharged into Halifax Harbour.
“The Halifax Wastewater Treatment Facility is a very complex system,” continues Mayor Kelly. “We need to be patient to ensure the exact cause is determined, that taxpayers interests are protected and the asset is returned to full operation.”
The plant is in the fourth month of a three-year warranty period and substantial insurance policies are in place. Restoration efforts, including a thorough clean-up of the affected areas, are underway and some auxiliary systems have been partially returned to service.
“Based on very preliminary repair forecasts, HRM will not likely be providing supervised swimming at Black Rock and Dingle beaches this summer,” said Mayor Kelly. “We will continue to monitor the water quality, but swimming will be unsupervised.”
The goal of HRM and Halifax Water is to get the plant operational as soon as possible, correct any deficiencies, enhance the design and operation to reduce the risk of flood reoccurrence and to shield the ratepayers from financial exposure.
It is expected that the Halifax plant will be fully operational by spring, 2010, and the water quality of the Harbour will be back to where it was prior to the flooding incident, meeting the expectations of the public.
For more information on the Halifax Plant and the Harbour Solutions Project, visit: www.halifax.ca/HWWTF/index.html
For more information and a full list of beaches, lakes and outdoor pools, visit: www.halifax.ca/recreation/beaches.html
Mayor Peter Kelly
Halifax Regional Municipality