After several years in planning, and nearly $11 million in project funding, wastewater is finally flowing from the Prince Edward Island Town of Stratford to the Charlottetown Pollution Control Plant.
The Stratford project consolidates the town’s wastewater treatment with Charlottetown’s and creates one central wastewater treatment plant on the Hillsborough River. Project work by Birch Hill Construction began in fall 2019 on a new triplex pumping station and 2.5 km of sewer forcemain for the connection to Charlottetown.
While plant upgrades have been finalized, the decommissioning of waste lagoons is set to begin in the spring, when Stratford intends to turn the lagoon areas into green space to create a more inviting entrance to the community, officials said.
Public consultation on potential designs for the green space is already underway. Two park designs have already been created by Nova Scotia consulting firm Upland Planning and Design.
“The completion of this project has been many years in the making,” announced Stratford Mayor Steve Ogden in a statement. “To have this operational presents residents, businesses and our staff and council with an exciting opportunity to reclaim much of the land at the western entrance to our community which is no longer required for the lagoons. We look forward to a future without odour issues to contend with in this area of the town, and to the future possibilities this will mean for the area, and all of Stratford,” Ogden added.
Stratford officials faced constant lagoon odour complaints over the years from residents and businesses in the spring and summer. The sewage comes in through 29 pumping stations.
The wastewater project construction was tendered twice previously with bids coming in significantly beyond the budget both times. Stratford officials made additional changes to the project design to reduce costs.
Most of the project funding came from the federal government’s Clean Water and Wastewater Fund. The P.E.I. government contributed about $2.7 million.