Timmins approves $2.2M upgrade for northern Ontario wastewater treatment plant

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The Mattagami Wastewater Pollution Control Plant serves the communities of Timmins, Mountjoy and Schumacher. The facility employs five workers and treats approximately 20,000 cubic metres of wastewater per day, with a daily capacity of 52,500 cubic metres. Photo Credit: EBS Geostructural.

The northern Ontario City of Timmins has awarded a $2.2-million primary clarifier upgrade to Pro Pipe Construction Ltd. for its Mattagami Wastewater Pollution Control Plant.

The primary clarifier was originally built in 1964, but the existing plastic longitudinal chain and scraper system, added in 1999, has reached its end of life, according to Public Utilities manager Steve Kukulka, who addressed city council on the predicament late last month.

“Plastic chains were put in, and those chains were not robust enough, in the opinion of the chief operator and other staff, to keep the system going,” Kukulka told city council during its March 27 meeting.

The tender includes the cost of the clarifier and the scum trough, rehabilitating the concrete tank, new infrared lighting, fixing up sections of the concrete floor and walls, and installing new railings and kick plates. The upgrade will also see the replacement of the existing sludge pump suction piping with a larger and more effective design, according to a city report. Also slotted is the replacement of existing dewatering valves and process piping with new ones.

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The upgrade also includes a $250,000 contingency fund for such things as construction change orders, unforeseen issues, and any problems with the site conditions.

The Mattagami Wastewater Pollution Control Plant serves the communities of Timmins, Mountjoy and Schumacher. The facility employs five workers and treats approximately 20,000 cubic metres of wastewater per day, with a daily capacity of 52,500 cubic metres. Wastewater is pumped through 11 pumping stations, treated, tested and disinfected, with the effluent discharged into the Mattagami River within provincial guidelines.

According to city documents, the solids are treated anaerobically, and methane gas is produced in the digesters as a source of energy for the boilers. The sludge is hauled to landfill for proper disposal. The plant and some pumping stations are equipped with diesel generators for emergency situations.

In recent years, Timmins has also performed upgrades worth more than $80 million to a secondary treatment project for the Mattagami plant. The upgrades increased the plant’s treatment capacity by converting it from primary to secondary level of treatment.

Ballooning costs in 2012 for the secondary treatment upgrades made councillors hesitant to spend more on the facility. Previously, the upgrades went about $14 million over the projected budget. The new system provides biological treatment to reduce the amount of bacteria and phosphates in the treated wastewater discharged into the Mattagami River.

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