The City of Selkirk (City) operates an independent wastewater treatment plant. At present, an upgrade is required to ensure all regulatory discharge requirements can continue to be met.
The Province of Manitoba has mandated an immediate upgrade/replacement of these facilities to meet the current effluent discharge limits which also includes nutrient removal (nitrogen and phosphorus).
Based on technical and financial analysis, it was recommended that the existing facility be decommissioned and a new, single, centralized Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) be constructed.
All public wastewater treatment facilities must be capable of meeting stringent treated effluent quality requirements mandated by Sustainable Development. As of January 1, 2017, new provincial regulations require that effluent (treated waste water) contain no more than 1 mg/L of phosphorus and 15 mg/L of nitrogen. The existing plant was built in 1976 and has now reached the end of its life cycle and cannot meet these regulations. Renovating the existing facility would not be cost-effective. A new WWTP has been designed to meet these requirements and allow for expansion as the City grows.
The new WWTP is among the capital projects undertaken by the City of Selkirk beginning in 2017. This is a very large project that will have a pronounced and positive impact on the City and all who live and work here. Information and input on the project can be provided at the Open House and Public Hearing scheduled for September, 2017. Should we state the dates and times of these events?
This initiative is consistent with the City of Selkirk Strategic Plan under the “Maximum Value from Community Resources” priority.
The City of Selkirk worked with an independent, third-party engineering firm to review seven different types of waste water treatment systems. After comparing the environmental benefits and the cost-effectiveness of the systems, the City determined the Membrane-Bioreactor Treatment Process provides the best environmental protection for the Red River and Lake Winnipeg and will be the most cost-effective over the full life cycle of the plant.
This new treatment process is considered state-of-the-art and produces an exceptionally high quality of effluent. This means if regulations change in the future, the City is likely to still meet the standards without costly retrofits or new construction.
The City is planning for growth that is flexible and cost effective. The new plant will have the ability to expand modularly to align with future growth in the region without the need for re-design or major construction.
The new WWTP will dramatically reduce the nutrients going into the Red River and Lake Winnipeg and, in so doing, will help reduce toxic algae blooms and help protect these waterways.
By producing high quality effluent, the City has the potential to attract Industry to utilize this water for industrial and commercial re-use. Offering purified wastewater to industry can potentially assist the aquafer (underground water source) to be more sustainable due to the reduction of water being taken from it.
The City is taking a lead role on environmental stewardship of the Red River and Lake Winnipeg by ensuring that we are becoming part of the solution and not adding to the problem. The City of Selkirk is a proud supporter of Lake Friendly and considers this project in alignment with Lake Friendly practices.
In addition to these benefits, the new plant has been designed with energy efficiency and climate change mitigation in mind. The new plant will not use any fossil fuels for heating. Heating will be provided by recovering waste heat from the wastewater and from electric heating. The building has been designed to connect with solar panels in the future to offset the buildings electrical expenses and its dependence on the grid.
The total cost of the project is as follows:
Design and Engineering: $2,119,275
Building Permits: $448,120
Government of Canada $11,713,333
Government of Manitoba: $11,713,333
Manitoba Water Services Board Grant: $247,636
City of Selkirk Utility Borrowing: $14,239,464
City of Selkirk Utility Nutrient Removal Reserve Fund $1,218,316
City of Selkirk Water and Sewer Reserve Fund $341,639
As in most communities, the City of Selkirk calculates your sewer charges based on the amount of water used at your home or business. The City’s portion of this project will be added to the sewer rates charged on your quarterly bill.
To reduce the impact on you, the City will be implementing these rate increases gradually, over the next four-year period. This will give you the opportunity to reduce your water consumption and therefore reduce the cost impact on you.
Reducing the amount of water you use in your home or business can reduce the cost to you.
The Increases to the sewer rates for this project will be as follows:
- 2018: $0.33/ cubic meter of water
- 2019: $0.33/ cubic meter of water
- 2020: $0.33/ cubic meter of water
- 2021: $0.36/ cubic meter of water
In total, this project will cost you about $0.006 – less than one cent – extra per toilet flush.
Why is the City of Selkirk spending all this money?
The Province of Manitoba has mandated an immediate upgrade/replacement to the City of Selkirk’s current treatment plant.
What was wrong with the plant we had?
It can no longer meet environmental requirements mandated by the province.
Why all this concern about nutrients; what does it do?
To protect the health and well–being of the population and the environment, Sustainable Development has stringent quality requirements for treated effluent that must be met by all facilities in Manitoba.
What is this going to cost?
The project requires an investment of $39,473,721 that will be cost–shared through the three levels of government – federal, provincial, municipal.
How did we choose a final design for the new plant?
After extensive review, the City of Selkirk determined the Membrane-Bioreactor Treatment Process provides the best environmental protection for the Red River and Lake Winnipeg and will be the most cost-effective over the full life cycle of the plant.
What does the membrane do that is so special?
The membrane treatment process is considered state-of-the-art and produces an exceptionally high quality of effluent. So, if regulations change in the future, the City will be better able to meet the standards without costly retrofits or new construction.
Is this good for the environment?
Yes. The new WWTP will dramatically reduce the nutrients going into the Red River and Lake Winnipeg and, in so doing, will help reduce toxic algae blooms and help protect these waterways.
How do we compare to other cities?
The City of Selkirk compares very favourably compared to other, similar–sized communities.
Is there a way to cut my costs down?
Yes. Reducing the amount of water you use in your home or business can reduce the cost to you. See MySelkirk.ca for more information on how to save on water consumption.
Did we get any help from the government?
Yes. The project is being cost–shared by all three levels of government with the provincial and federal governments contributing 29.7% each.
Who Would I Contact to Get More Information?
Public Hearing – New Wastewater Treatment Plant
A Public Hearing will be held solicit public feedback and secure an Environment Act License from Sustainable Development to construct the facility.
Date: September 11, 2017 (Monday), 6 pm.
Location: City of Selkirk Council Chambers
Who should attend?
Anyone within the City limits and service area.
Why should I be interested?
The proposed construction of the centralized WWTP represents a major capital investment for the City. The City is pursuing this project to address environmental concerns of their residents (e.g. odor) and the Province of Manitoba.
What will the project cost me?
The City has secured funding from the two levels of Government under the Canada-Manitoba Infrastructure Program. Cost sharing agreements have also been finalized between Manitoba Water Services Board (representing the Provincial Government) and the City.
When will the project be constructed?
Construction for this project may begin as early as the spring of 2018.
What if I cannot attend the hearing?
We encourage you to contact CitizenSupport ifyou need additional information contact: www.MySelkirk.ca/CitizenSupport.