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Manitoba announces wastewater and flood protection investments

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Manitoba will provide more than $61 million to support the upgrade of the City of Portage la Prairie’s Water Pollution Control Facility, Premier Brian Pallister announced on February 18, 2020.

The City of Portage la Prairie owns and operates the Water Pollution Control Facility, a wastewater treatment plant that provides treatment for municipal and industrial wastewater before it is discharged into the Assiniboine River. The facility also serves the region’s agri-business industry, which includes pea processing plants Nutri-Pea Ltd. and Roquette and a potato-processing plant operated by McCain Foods.

The City’s Water Pollution Control Facility treated an average of 14,295 m3/day in 2018 according to the 2018 Water Pollution Annual Report. Influent from domestic and commercial sources is approximately 39% of total flows with industrial sources amounting to 61%.

According to Premier Pallister, the upgrades will “bring wastewater treatment for the city and surrounding areas into compliance with provincial and federal regulations, and will benefit Manitoba’s lakes and waterways.” Construction is expected to begin in summer 2022.

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Funding for the expansion of the facility is being provided through the Investing in Canada Plan. Other partners in the project include the Government of Canada and the City of Portage la Prairie, which are providing more than $60 million and $59 million respectively.

Manitoba Flood Protection Funding

In mid-February, Manitoba also announced it is launching a program to support municipalities in preparing for spring floods.

Under the program, municipalities can be reimbursed for up to 100% of approved flood preparedness or resiliency projects and equipment costs.  The maximum funding available for each municipality will be based on the total value of all approved proposals, but up to $150,000 may be available for each municipal proposal.  Consideration will be given for funding of up to $500,000 for the City of Winnipeg should flood risk warrant additional investment.

The Association of Manitoba Municipalities (AMM) said it welcomed the funding announcement.  “This funding support saves money in avoided flood damages, helps municipalities better prepare, and also builds resiliency for future floods,” said Ralph Groening, president, AMM.

Proposals will be reviewed by a panel made up of representatives from the Association of Manitoba Municipalities, Winnipeg Metropolitan Region and the province.  Evaluation of proposals will consider factors including flood risk, ability of the proposal to enhance emergency preparedness or resiliency for future flood events, as well as potential regional benefits.  Proposals must be submitted by February 28.

See additional program details, including program guidelines and the application form.

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