The two-year construction of a new $39.5-million wastewater treatment plant will be completed for the Manitoba City of Selkirk this summer, offering the capacity to serve more than double the current population of about 11,000.
The city’s old plant was built in 1976 and does not meet current provincial regulations that require effluent to contain no more than 1 mg/L of phosphorus and 15 mg/L of nitrogen. The new plant, local officials said, will produce “an exceptionally high quality of effluent.”
Selkirk officials announced last week that the new plant’s membrane-bioreactor treatment process will provide environmental protection for Red River and Lake Winnipeg. The plant makes use of two sets of membrane filtration cartridge units, each capable of handling 6 million litres per day for a total of 12 million litres per day.
Local officials said in a statement that they hope the new plant will help to avoid the costly wastewater treatment upgrade woes faced by cities such as Winnipeg and St. Andrews. However, the new Selkirk plant will be the most expensive infrastructure project in the city’s 138-year history.
The City of Winnipeg’s upgrades have a price tag of $1.8 billion and a completion deadline of 2028.
Selkirk designed the plant so it can easily be expanded at a very low relative cost, officials said. They have created space for a third set of membrane filtration cartridges that would cost about $1 million and increase capacity by 50%.
“I can speak for my utility team and I that the new Selkirk wastewater plant is using innovative technology that will open the doors to be able to accept wastewater from other communities to come,” announced Selkirk’s Utilities Manager, Raven Sharma, in a statement.
Sharma added that her team will be “busy in the next couple of months commissioning and fine tuning the new wastewater plant.”
The new plant, which began construction in August 2018, is equally cost-shared by the city and the provincial and federal governments.