Top News

City and Corner Brook Pulp and Paper to study co-treating their wastewater

Mayor Jim Parsons chairs Monday night’s public council meeting at Corner Brook City Hall.
Mayor Jim Parsons chairs Monday night’s public council meeting at Corner Brook City Hall. - Diane Crocker
CORNER BROOK, N.L. —

The City of Corner Brook may have found an ally to help it deal with its wastewater.

A couple of months ago Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Limited approached the city on partnering to study the possibility of co-treating wastewater.

Seeing the potential benefit to both parties, city staff requested a proposal from CBCL Ltd., its consultants on wastewater, to determine if there are advantages to treating the effluent from both sources in some form of a combined process.

The estimated cost of the study is $112,500 (plus HST).

Corner Brook Pulp and Paper intends to apply for 50 per cent of that through a Federal Green Fund.

City staff proposed that the city and the paper mill cost share the remaining 50 per cent.

If the application for funding is not approved, staff recommended that the study be funded 25 per cent by the city and 75 per cent by Corner Brook Pulp and Paper. This would keep the portion of funding required from the city at the same amount of $28,125 (plus HST).

Council approved moving forward with the partnership during Monday night’s public meeting at city hall.

After the meeting, Mayor Jim Parsons said the paper mill is anticipating some regulatory changes for its effluent that may require it to be more in line with the city’s municipal standard.

So, investigating to see if there is some opportunity to share resources makes sense and is not an unprecedented arrangement.

“This brings us another potential option to work with our biggest private sector tenant here. And a really sort of exciting possibility to find efficiencies and long-term cost savings.”

He said anytime the city can work with someone who can take on some of its excess capacity from an operating standpoint, or share the burden from a capital cost perspective, for the benefit of all the its citizens is a good thing.

He said making connections with one of the city’s most important employers adds political weight and permanence to their relationship.

He noted big industrial businesses like the mill also have access to other funding sources for such projects.

As for the work the city is doing on its own, Parsons said it is progressing through acquiring the water lot, ocean-front land, on which to develop and create a fully functional treatment plant. He wouldn’t say where that land is located.

Parsons said there is an intense regulatory process that has to followed in building a wastewater treatment plant, and it is a big engineering feat to bring as much of the city’s wastewater to a centralized location.

The city would require upwards of $80 million to cover the cost of building the plant and has included it in its latest Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program funding application.    

diane.crocker@thewesternstar.com

Twitter: WS_DianeCrocker

Recent Stories