Manitoba has formed a task force to ensure that the delays plaguing the $2.2-billion upgrade projects at the North End Water Pollution Control Centre — Winnipeg’s oldest and largest sewage facility — will not impact the 2030 provincial deadline.
The three-phase upgrades were planned in 2003 and expected to be completed early in the 2010s; however, funding gaps and several missed deadlines along the way have pushed the potential completion of the project into the 2030s.
Provincial Environment and Climate Minister Kevin Klein will serve as the task force’s chairperson, while Winnipeg city councillor Brian Mayes, who chairs the city’s standing policy committee on water, waste and environment, will serve as its vice-chair.
“I used to get up at council meetings and express my frustration that all three levels of government wanted to get the North End sewage treatment project moving, but we somehow couldn’t seem to make it happen,” Mayes announced in a statement. “This task force is really focused on getting us all on the same page to keep these major wastewater projects moving forward.”
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The upgrades involve building a new power plant and upgrades to the headworks, followed by the construction of a facility to process biosolids, and the creation of a facility to remove phosphorus and nitrogen from treated wastewater before effluent from the plant is discharged into the Red River.
Construction at the City of Winnipeg’s South End Water Pollution Control Centre is nearing completion, the minister noted, adding the plant is already in compliance with phosphorus and nitrogen limits.