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Saturday , 25 September 2021

Province helping with $3.6M on St. Paul Wastewater Treatment Plant project

The provincial government is helping with St. Paul wastewater treatment plant project.

After tariffs on American steel and aluminum and an outdated quote for the project led to the cost jumping almost $5 million to roughly $17 million total, the Town of St. Paul approached the Government of Alberta for grant funding to cover some of the shortfall.

The provincial government came back in late August with a pledge of $3.4 million.

With over $5 million in grant funding already secured from the federal government, the Town has taken out a debenture to pay the remaining $1.7 million.

“The win that we have had is we’ve not had to downgrade our plant,” said Mayor Maureen Miller.

“We’re ecstatic that the provincial government came in at this point with such a tight budget and no budget dropped yet.”

The St. Paul wastewater treatment plant is facing its expiry and work is needed to be operational for another 25 years, said Miller.

“We had done a water study, we’ve done environmental studies on it, and we needed this level of plant for the next 25 years, in order for us to know we were doing the best we could for the environment,” said Miller.

“That’ll give us a 25 year plant operations because they believe it will meet those requirements for those many years. Now, sometimes there are environmental additional requirements, depending on what happens in our environment, obviously. But our plan should be able to sustain any of those upgrades that are necessary.”

Alberta Environment is making St. Paul test Lower Therien Lake as well as Upper Therien Lake as part of the upgrade.

Work could begin later this year on the project.

The Upgrades

Last year, Jason Stusick from MPE Engineering Ltd. explained all of the required upgrades to the treatment plant.

These include:

-Increasing the lift station capacity by adding a third pump
-Upgrades to the screening process
-Adding grit removal to improve downstream process operations and reduce maintenance requirements
-Incorporating phosphorus reduction
-Replacing old blowers for increased capacity and improved efficiency
-Replacing coarse diffusers with fine diffusers for increased oxygen transfer efficiency and improved energy efficiency
-Modify bioreactor for total nitrogen removal
-Add disc filtration for increased BOD solids removal
-Incorporating effluent disinfection via UV light
-Electrical and control systems upgrades
-Improvements to sludge management, by adding thickening, digestion, and dewatering
-The repurposing of sludge ponds for emergency storage
-Improvements to aerobic digestion of solids with a new tank and dedicated blowers
-Incorporating sludge dewatering systems for simple disposal

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.