ERIN – The Town of Erin’s upcoming wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) is another step closer to fruition after approving a nearly $1 million engineering contract.
At a Tuesday meeting, Erin council unanimously approved a bid from WSP Canada Group for construction engineering on the WWTP at $936,125.86.
WSP Canada Group was previously approved last year for design services on the plant at around $1.5 million.
A staff report says they are getting close to issuing a construction tender for the WWTP.
The entire project is expected to cost $126 million but the town’s portion of it could be up to $32 million when developer contributions are considered.
Erin’s WWTP has been a controversial development with residents and environmental groups who have expressed concern over the plant’s effluent dumping into the West Credit River and the impact it may have on temperature for coldwater trout species.
Coun. John Brennan noted this – although added their own environmental and engineering reports indicate there will be no impact – and asked if climate change will factor into how the plant is designed as the temperature impact may change.
“What we’re looking at now might be good enough for now but not good enough somewhere down the road,” Brennan said.
Nick Colucci, director of infrastructure services for the town, said the consultant is being designed in a modular manner meaning there will be room for additions to make sure the plant meets requirements.
“In the design process we looked at many aspects to make sure those concerns are already addressed,” Colucci said. He then listed off things like not having above ground tanks and ensuring shading as examples of ways they’re addressing temperature.
However, he said they can only generally plan for climate change as the specifics of what the impact will be is unknown into the future.
Coun. Michael Robins was focused on risk management on things that are beyond the control of engineers.
For example, he said on May 26 the federal government is going to “opine on this project” and asked if there is a plan in place in case of any delays from this review.
Colucci replied they have considered potential approval delays and it shouldn’t be too large of an issue if there was a further review by the feds.
“The risk is there but we have all the data that would be required if there was a federal assessment,” Colucci said. “It’s a matter of getting the team together and getting them to submit the data which we have done most of it already as part of the initial review by the federal government.”
Keegan Kozolanka, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, GuelphToday.com