Newfoundland breaks ground on new Gander wastewater treatment plant

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As a sod-turning ceremony got underway last week for Newfoundland’s latest wastewater treatment plant, in Gander, Town officials report that nearly 90% of the linear infrastructure for the $38-million project is in place.

The Gander wastewater treatment plant, to be located southeast of Whitman’s Pond, will have a simple wastewater treatment system consisting of a manufactured water body with artificial aeration to promote the biological oxidation of wastewaters.

Construction by Pomerleau Inc. is expected to conclude in November of 2019.

“This is a big day for the Town of Gander, as we have been excitedly awaiting the commencement of the biggest project the Town Council of Gander has ever undertaken,” Town of Gander Mayor Percy Farwell announced at the sod-turning ceremony, noting his satisfaction at soon being able to meet federal wastewater regulations.

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Gander Elementary, which opened in early 2018, was built within 200 metres of the current sewage treatment plant on Magee Road in Gander, which has generated numerous odour complaints. Mayor Farwell said that the existing facility — built in 1978 — would ideally have been decommissioned to align with the opening of the new school, but will now have to wait until the new facility is operational.

The new treatment plant, boasting an aerated lagoon, is designed to serve Gander’s growing population, estimated at 17,500 by 2040. The facility is set to include preliminary, primary, and secondary levels of treatment as well as effluent disinfection to mitigate the effect of the effluent discharge on the receiving water.

The facility design will consider residuals handling procedures in order to safely and effectively handle wastewater treatment residuals such as screenings, grit and sludge.

“Our government has made water and wastewater a main priority and has contributed to more than 200 wastewater projects in Newfoundland over the last three years,” Graham Letto, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Environment, said at the sod-turning ceremony.

Funding for the project was secured through the Build Canada Fund under the Provincial – Territorial Infrastructure component.

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