OCWA expands management of water, wastewater in Renfrew

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The Renfrew wastewater collection consists of a Class 2 subsystem, including six pumping stations, while water distribution covers a Class 1 subsystem for a water tower and booster station. Photo Credit: Town of Renfrew

The Ontario Town of Renfrew, near Ottawa, has signed a new 10-year contract with the Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA) to expand the services provided by the not-for-profit Crown agency.

By extending OCWA’s services to include the management of water distribution, as well as wastewater treatment and collection, three municipal staff will be transferred to OCWA once the new agreement commences in January.

Wastewater collection consists of a Class 2 subsystem, including six pumping stations, while water distribution covers a Class 1 subsystem for a water tower and booster station.

OCWA has already been in charge of Renfrew’s drinking water treatment plant operations, and the current contract would have expired on December 31, 2025. 

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The new services agreement with OCWA is expected to result in a net decrease in staffing of 4,784 hours, according to a municipal staff report. Overall, there are estimated savings of $239,089 for water, $21,417 for wastewater, and $70,000 for taxation. The new agreement also means Renfrew would not be responsible for several vehicles associated with the facilities, as ownership would shift to OCWA

The employees moved to OCWA come from a reduction in staff mandated for snow removal, as local officials voted out the “wingman” practice of two staff per snowplow. 

Should Renfrew be called upon to assist with a water break or any emergency work, the work would be coordinated through Renfrew’s Manager of Environmental Services with the Director of Facilities, Maintenance and Operations.

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