REGINA – Digging is well under way for construction of Regina’s new sewage treatment plant, and the cost appears to be well under budget too.
Originally pegged at $224-million, the city’s contract with EPCOR Water Prairies Inc. saves more than $43-million on construction – a final price of $181-million.
Over the plant’s 30-year operation, the winning bid might spare $248-million.
Savings on the new plant is due to a competitive bid process, according to mayor Michael Fougere.
“Absolutely everything is intact, all requirements are there,” Fougere said Friday. “This open and competitive bid got us to the price we have. Taxpayers should be very happy today.”
Much of the current plant was built beginning in 1956. At its peak, the new facility will process about 50 per cent more waste water – paving the way for a larger population and the potential to serve other communities.
It’ll also use fewer chemicals to remove harmful nutrients.
“There’s a lot greater concern in the last number of years about phosphorus and the impact it has on lakes and rivers,” said Steve Stanley, senior vice-president of EPCOR Water Services.
Fougere admits replacing the sewage treatment plant isn’t a particularily ‘sexy’ project, but he says there is a lot residents have to look forward to.
“What’s exciting about it is not the plant itself, but what it represents,” said Fougere. “It represents that we’re a growing community, and we’re preparing for growth in our community. We’re not waiting for growth to happen and then catching up.”
The new plant is slated to open in December 2016, just before the city must meet tougher standards for downstream emissions.