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Region moving ahead with $1.7-million upgrade to Heidelberg treatment plant

Region of Waterloo

The Heidelberg wastewater treatment plant is getting ready for upgrades and improvements over the next few weeks now that the construction contract has been tendered and awarded by Waterloo Regional council.

On the list of renovations is an addition to the building, renovations to the existing structure, and most importantly, replacement of the electrical supply system, the HVAC system, and computer upgrades – all with the aim of bringing the facility up to standard.

Trevor Brown is the manager of engineering and wastewater programs for the region, and says residents won’t notice the difference, but the planned renovations are something that is necessary.

“It is something that just comes with time. We were seeing a lot of corrosion in our electrical equipment and if that stuff starts to corrode, obviously the electrical system will fail and it would be a catastrophic failure,” he said. “Part of the upgrades are just bringing things up to code and they have obviously changed over the years since that facility has been built. It is all going to be behind the scenes. The service up there is quite good and there won’t be any interruptions.”

Ball Construction, based in Kitchener, was awarded the contract for a price of $1,727,186 after the bidding process came to a close last month. The bill is almost $400,000 higher than planned, but Scott Angello, supervisor of procurement at the region, says that is something the region plans for.

“If the budget is not there, we can’t move forward or we have to find that allocation. My understanding is that the funding was available, it just wasn’t in the initial plan. It is a security fund that we put money aside for the unexpected,” he said, mentioning that price increases are something that doesn’t happen that often. “I wouldn’t say it happens often. It is taken by a case by case scenario.”

The reason given for the rise in cost was the current state of the Canadian dollar versus U.S currency – a majority of the equipment needed originates from the United States – and an overall increase in market pricing. The difference is coming out of the wastewater reserve fund, absorbing the disparity.

With additional services required as part of the project and taxes factored in, the total cost of the upgrades to the wastewater plant comes to $2,188,400.

Construction is expected to begin this month, with a completion date of sometime in March 2017.

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