The City of Regina, Canada’s fourth-fastest-growing Census Metropolitan Area, is growing at more than twice the national average. The City needed to expand its water treatment capacity in order to meet demand. The City also needed to upgrade its treatment process in order to meet newly mandated wastewater standards that would come into effect on January 1, 2017 to protect public health and the environment including the Wascana Creek and the Qu’Appelle River system.
The City evaluated 12 procurement options and in 2013, Council unanimously approved the recommended option – a public-private partnership (P3).
· Updating the wastewater treatment plant without stopping operations while also completing the new plant within 36 months— the deadline imposed on the current wastewater treatment plant’s operating permit.
· A group known as Regina Water Watch obtained several thousand signatures on a petition opposing the P3 arrangement requiring a public referendum.
· City Council opted for a P3 after rigorous research and residents’ ratified their Council’s decision in a subsequent referendum.
· To allow for the continued operation of the existing wastewater treatment plant during construction period and to accommodate certain union obligations, current staff of the wastewater treatment plant will remain employees of the City under EPCOR’s management, supervision and direction.
· Five years before the 30-year agreement ends the City may begin withholding monthly payments if the plant’s final handback condition appears to be in question.
· The new wastewater treatment plant will modernize the City of Regina’s wastewater treatment processes, increase its capacity and improve wastewater quality to protect the natural environment through upgrades to the primary (non-organic) and secondary (organic) treatment processes, and the construction of a new tertiary (bacterial) treatment process.
· The new plant will have a flow rate capacity of 92 million litres of wastewater per day—serving a population of 258,000— and better prevent contaminants including ammonia, nitrogen, phosphorus and E.coli from entering Saskatchewan’s waterways.
· The City continues to own and control the facility and sets utility rates.
· The project won the CCPPP Chuck Wills Award (2014).
“The City of Regina Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade Project is a priority for EPCOR and for the City of Regina. By drawing on our strengths as the private-sector partner in the WWTP project, EPCOR can deliver strategic benefits and cost advantages to maximize the social and economic impact of this vital infrastructure upgrade…. The project demonstrates the benefits of the P3 model. It has provided a forum for the public and private sectors to work together to procure much needed infrastructure assets while benefiting the local community. As the first large water/wastewater DBFOM project in Canada, it will serve as a model for future P3 projects, and EPCOR is proud to participate in the project as the private-sector partner.”
- Lee Ward, Senior Manager, Project Development, EPCOR Water Prairies Inc.
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