A total of $550 million will flow from federal and provincial coffers into the second phase of upgrades for Winnipeg’s North End Sewage Treatment Plant.
The plant — the city’s oldest and largest — processes as much as 70 per cent of the water Winnipeggers flush away.
The second phase will upgrade the plant’s biosolids facility, taking sludge from wastewater and converting it into a nutrient-rich product that can be used as fertilizer.
The city said it will use the new facility to convert the sludge from the other wastewater treatment plants in Winnipeg into biosolids as well, so it doesn’t just get dumped in the landfill.
Coun. Brian Mayes (St. Vital), head of the city’s water and waste committee, said he welcomes Tuesday’s funding announcement, but cautions that there’s a short timeline of about seven years to get the facility’s upgrades completed.
“We need to get started on this — it’s hundreds of millions of dollars, it’s almost hard to get your head around — but it really is necessary, both for the sewage treatment and just to allow for further growth in the city post-2030,” Mayes said.
“We were running out of room at the sewage treatment plant, and what we were being told by our staff is it’ll take about seven years to build this. We’ve got about seven years of capacity left.
“If we don’t get started, you won’t be able to build a new factory, store, house, apartment in Winnipeg by about 2030, so it’s big in terms of growth of the city, in that sense, as well.”
The upgraded plant will also have an environmental impact.
“The modernization of the North End wastewater treatment plant will protect our waterways and ecosystems to create a cleaner and more resilient Winnipeg,” said Winnipeg MP Dan Vandal.
“Our government is proud to invest in reliable and efficient wastewater collection and treatment to help protect our lakes and rivers.”
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