Tour of Martime wastewater treatment facilities shows Corner Brook it’s not as challenging as it thought

Published on February 7, 2017

Charles Pender

In November officials with the City of Corner Brook went on a fact-finding tour that took them to four different wastewater treatment plants in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

Mayor Charles Pender took part in the tour and shared what happened and what was learned through it:

Who went

The mayor

City manager

Director of engineering

Manager of engineering

Two engineering techs


Nov. 8-10, 2016

Where they went

Eastern Passage Wastewater Treatment Plant (Halifax)

Colchester Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant (Truro)

Eastern Wastewater Treatment Plant (Saint John)

Lancaster Wastewater Treatment Plant (Saint John)

Mill Cove Wastewater Treatment Plant (Halifax)  

What was seen/learned

Pender said the tour allowed those involved to understand how various wastewater treatment systems work and the different steps in the process — things like odour control, which will be big for the city, with the plan for the city’s treatment plant to be constructed on the waterfront.

It also gave them an idea of the costs involved and the impacts the type of equipment purchased can have on cost. High-end pieces of equipment, such as blowers, use less energy, saving money in the long run, but cost more up front.

They also had the opportunity to talk to operators to find out how many people work in the facilities and to get an idea of the operating costs. Even though they were all different types of facilities their yearly operating costs came in at about $1.5 million.

What the city took away

“It’s not as challenging to do it as we thought it might be in terms of the technology,” Pender said.

“The only thing, really, that can make a difference in your operating (cost) is investment upfront in higher-end, or middle-range or lower-end processing equipment.”

Pender said the group left thinking that the city would go with a design-build for the treatment plant, but after looking at the options out there concluded it’s probably better to go with a bid-build.

 “We know the type of system that’s going to work for us.”