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INTRODUCTION

HELP Clean Water is a regional project that will serve the needs of more than 500,000 people living and working in this important economic region of Southwestern Ontario. The project will be implemented in phases over the next 20 years, at an estimated total cost of approximately $350 million.

In the region of Southwestern Ontario, between the shores of Lake Huron and Lake Erie, the clean water needs of half a million people living and working in large and small communities, both rural and urban, are served by two Boards of Management for the Elgin Area Primary Water Supply System and the Lake Huron Primary Water Supply System. Together, the two Boards serve the clean water needs of 14 municipalities; the City of London, City of St. Thomas, Town of Aylmer, Municipality of Bayham, Municipality of Central Elgin, Township of Malahide, Township of Southwold, Municipality of Bluewater, Municipality of South Huron, Municipality of Lambton Shores, Township of Lucan Biddulph, Municipality of North Middlesex, Municipality of Middlesex Centre and the Municipality of Strathroy-Caradoc. The City of London is the administrating municipality and a member of both water Boards.

In early 2004 the City of London and the two Boards entered into a partnership to explore, develop and deliver a strategic, long-term infrastructure program that would ensure a sustainable high quality water supply for the region while protecting the natural environment and conserving energy. HELP Clean Water is a strategic, multi-year infrastructure program designed to benefit the entire region environmentally and economically over the next 30-50 years.

Project Details

The regional clean water project bundles a number of projects in six categories:

     • Facility Expansions and Upgrades
     • Transmission Capacity and Reliability Improvements
     • Emergency Power Capacity Improvements
     • Service capacity Improvements
     • Green Power Initiatives
     • Water Quality Treatment Research Facility

LONG TERM BENEFITS

  • Sustainable water supply with capacity for future growth

  • Consistently high quality water supply for region

  • Reduced reliance on groundwater supplies

  • Enhanced water supply reliability through capacity and operational redundancy

  • Enhanced reliability with full emergency power capacity and alternate green power sources

  • Increased emergency storage and system balancing with development of reservoir and pump station

  • New source of energy generation that will utilize green power initiatives

  • Creation of a world class research and development facility with opportunities for treatment/technology training partnerships

CURRENT INITIATIVES

By April 8, 2009, both the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario announced commitments of $50 million each to the Phase 1 implementation of the HELP Clean Water Initiative.  The provision of Senior Government Funding to the Phase 1 of the Clean Water Initiative was provided through the Building Canada Fund - Major Infrastructure program, and will be implemented over the next five years.

Phase 1 projects as approved by the Senior Government funding partners are as follows:

1.  Southeast Reservoir and Pumping Station - City of London:  $55.7 Million (Estimated Project Schedule - April 2009 to September 2011)

The Southeast Reservoir and Booster Pumping Station will provide the necessary increase in emergency water supply storage for existing and future residential, industrial, institutional and commercial customers. Currently, the City of London has a shortfall from the Ministry of Environment's recommended two day emergency storage supply of water.  This project will be completed in two phases.  The first phase outlines a reservoir capacity of 113ML and pumping capacity to meet the needs of the City of London for the next ten years.  The second phase takes into consideration the long term requirements of the City and will see the reservoir capacity double to 226ML and increase the pumping capacity to meet the needs of the City of London until 2024.

2.  Elgin Area Water Treatment Plant Residue Management Facility – Elgin Area Primary Water Supply System: $13.25 Million (Estimated Project Schedule – March 2009 to March 2013)

The existing and evolving environmental standards require the need for an onside residue management facility to be constructed to handle the waste by-products associated with water treatment facilities.  The implementation of the Elgin Area Water Treatment Plant Residue Management Facility will address the treatment of residue materials created during the water treatment (sedimentation) and filtration (filter backwashing) processes.  By reducing the amount of virtually untreated waste from being directed back to the source water of the water treatment facility, will be an important step in protecting, maintaining and sustaining our water sources.

3.  Lake Huron Water Treatment Plant Residue Management Facility – Lake Huron Primary Water Supply System: $10.25 Million (Estimated Project Schedule – March 2009 to March 2013)

The existing and evolving environmental standards require the need for an onside residue management facility to be constructed to handle the waste by-products associated with water treatment facilities.  Currently, the Lake Huron Water Treatment Plant utilizes a centrifuge to dewater settled solids collected from the sedimentation basins of the water treatment process.  Although, the dewatered solids are trucked to the local landfill, the centrate water along with residue from the filter backwash continues to be discharged through the plant drain.  The completion of the Residue Management Facility creates several benefits including addressing the potential risk associated with Source Water Protection, complying with environmental standards and regulations and reducing the environmental impact associated with a water treatment facility.

4.  Elgin Area Transmission Pipeline Twinning – Elgin Area Primary Water Supply System: $23.67 Million (Estimated Project Schedule – September 2009 to April 2012)

The Elgin Area Water treatment plant has a current rated treatment capacity of 91ML of drinking water per day, however the 750mm diameter primary transmission main from the plant is limited in capacity to approximately 81ML.  In essence, the Elgin Area water treatment plant is limited in its performance capacity due to the undersized transmission main.  This project will involve twinning the existing 750mm transmission main along its entire 18km length with a new higher capacity 1050mm diameter transmission main.  To address the issue of aging infrastructure, the project will also include the rehabilitation of the existing 750mm main to increase its life expectancy so that it can be utilized for redundancy in conjunction with the new 1050mm main and ensure security of supply to the seven benefiting municipalities.

5.  Lake Huron Transmission Pipeline Twinning – Phase 1 – Lake Huron Primary Water Supply System:  $28.3 Million Estimated Project Schedule – September 2009 to December 2012)

The Lake Huron Primary Water Supply System provides 85% of the drinking water to the City of London.  The most of the other benefiting municipalities connected to the Lake Huron Primary Water Supply System receive all of their drinking water supply from it.  Currently, 21km out of the 48km of the 1200mm transmission pipeline is twinned.  However, if there is a pipe failure in the remaining 27km of non-twinned length of transmission main, then more than half of the 500,000 people in this region would have little to no supply of drinking water.  The higher demands and increasing pressures significantly strain the transmission system and could cause a critical failure of the pipeline.  Twinning the remaining 27km with new 1200mm diameter pipe will increase transmission capacity of the system while decreasing operating pressure and energy consumption of the system.

6.  Lake Huron Water Treatment Plant Emergency Backup Generator – Lake Huron Primary Water Supply System: $7.37 Million (Estimated Project Schedule – February 2009 to April 2012)

The Lake Huron water treatment plant currently has 3.5 megawatts of emergency backup power, which is undersized and is only capable of providing enough power to operate computer control systems, instrumentation and emergency lighting, as well as pumping less than a third of the plant’s capacity.  The proposed Emergency Power Capacity project will increase backup power generation at the Lake Huron water treatment plant from 3.5 megawatts to a maximum of 10 megawatts.  The amount of backup power generation will be sufficient enough to continue operations without interruption of supply to the eight benefiting municipalities connected to the Lake Huron Primary Water Supply System.  In order to provide clean, safe, secure, and reliable drinking water to its customers the need for increased emergency backup power is overdue. 

7.  W12A Landfill Site Co-Generation Facility – City of London: $4.6 Million (Estimated Project Schedule – January 2011 to February 2013) 

Operating landfills are a significant source of methane which is an environmentally damaging “greenhouse” gas.  Presently, initiatives are in place to collect and burn this source of methane gas.  A further initiative would be develop a power and steam co-generation facility at this site to produce energy from the combustion of this harmful gas.  Co-generation facilities use the heat or gas combustion to produce steam that drives power turbines.  By capturing the methane gas the environmental impact of the W12A landfill site will be decreased.  Also, using the gas to power generators to produce energy will improve air quality and reduce the reliance on coal fired power facilities.

8.  Wind Generation at the Lake Huron and Elgin Area Water Treatment Plants – Lake Huron & Elgin Area Primary Water Supply Systems:      $9.34 Million – (Estimated Project Schedule – January 2011 to March 2013)

The development of wind energy along the shores of Lake Huron and Lake Erie would be an effort to help Canada reduce its direct greenhouse gas emissions while supplementing the electricity supply to two regionally significant and critically important water supply systems.  Using wind power to make electric energy which drive electric pumps is a modern, high technology application of a historic renewable energy source.  Erecting wind turbines at the Lake Huron and Elgin Area water treatment plants is a consideration that may benefit a wide spectrum of proponents.  If it is feasible to produce wind power at these sites the environment will benefit from a clean, renewable energy source , and connected customers may benefit from reduced operating costs or additional revenue generated by selling the power back to the grid.

 
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