Upper Sunningdale, site of the Water Treatment Plant in the City of Trail. (Trail Times file photo)

Water plant upgrades set to begin in Trail

Trail council awarded a $590,000 contract on Monday for first phase of WTP upgrades

Upgrades to the city’s Water Treatement Plant (WTP) can begin after Trail council awarded a $590,000 contract on Monday for the first leg of work.

The $1.2 million project has been on the books since 2013 following an audit that found the filter media efficiency was below normal parameters.

In his report to council, Public Works Manager Chris McIsaac noted an upgrade of the filter beds would improve efficiency and productivity at the plant. Within the contract which went to the sole bidder, Calgary’s Anthratch Western Inc., work includes the design, supply, installation and testing of granular media filtration upgrades to the four existing top filters.

(Granular media filtration refers to the process for removal of suspended solids by passage of water through a porous medium.)

The city’s WTP filter beds are aging and less efficient than when originally designed, McIsaac advised.

“So much so, in fact, that the city will realize a 30 per cent increase in filter bed efficiency when the upgrade is completed,” he added. “This will result in energy savings, and a decrease in water consumed during the filter backwash processes.”

The project involves the installation of UV (ultra violet) reactors at a later date, and is part of regulatory upgrades.

Unlike chemical approaches to water disinfection, UV light provides rapid, effective inactivation of microorganisms through a physical process. When bacteria, viruses and protozoa are exposed to the germicidal wavelengths of UV light, they are rendered incapable of reproducing and infecting.

The application of UVGI (Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation) to disinfection has been an accepted practice, primarily for medical sanitation and sterile work facilities, since the mid-20th century. Increasingly it has been employed to sterilize drinking and wastewater, as the holding facilities are enclosed and can be circulated to ensure a higher UV exposure.

The work scope also includes upgrading to a control system infrastructure known as “SCADA.” Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) is a computerized system for the automated computer controls associated with the treatment plant and related operations.

The project is being funded 83 per cent through the government’s Clean Water and Wastewater Fund. The federal contribution is approximately $624,000, the province is covering $411,000 and the City of Trail, $212,000.

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