The building of Regina’s new wastewater treatment plant was quite controversial, but now two years on, the plant is almost complete.
The plant, a little ways east out of Regina on Dewdney Avenue, sprawls out quite a bit more than it did before construction, though your nose will still tell you when you’re there.
The plant is a few weeks ahead of schedule at 90 per cent complete. A bit of construction and testing still needs to be done before it can be declared finished, but it’s expected to be completely online by the end of the year.
Mayor Michael Fougere is pleased with the work done on the plant. He said having better treatment processes is critical.
“It’s about protecting our environment, it’s about protecting those downstream, it’s about being better stewards of the environment … We are doing our part to ensure the effluent is much better than it was before.”
About 75 per cent of the waste water coming in is going through the new treatment process, and has been for approximately two months.
“You’ll see a higher quality effluent already leaving the plant as a result of treating a portion of the sewage through the new process. And as we optimize that process effluent quality will improve to the level set out in the permit to operate,” explained John Elford, senior vice-president of Epcor, the company operating the plant.
Once the treatment process is complete there will be lower levels of phosphorus, nitrogen, ammonia, and bacteria being released with the water downstream.
“(It’s) going to significantly reduce the impact that this wastewater treatment plant has had on that creek for the past few years, and that will certainly impact the quality of the watershed over time,” said Elford.
The lagoons that were used in the old treatment process are still be utilized for storage and as a place for excess water to go during storms.