Wastewater treatment plant on mend - Metro US

Wastewater treatment plant on mend

Sewage is once again flowing through the Halifax wastewater treatment facility on Upper Water Street.

“Everything seems to be going fine,” said James Campbell, spokesman for the Halifax Harbour Solutions project. “The only part that remains to be introduced is the ultraviolet light disinfection system.”

Campbell said they want to make sure the advanced primary treatment system is stabilized and working properly before adding the UV disinfection, the last step in making the plant fully operational.

It will take another week or two before it is at 100 per cent.

A power outage hit the plant on Jan. 14, 2009.

Two generators were in place to keep the plant running, but one overloaded and shut down, flooding the facility with raw sewage. Much of the electrical equipment was destroyed.

The cost of fixing the $54-million plant is pegged at $11 million. Campbell said they would recover the vast majority (about 90 per cent) from insurance. The rest they’re hoping to recover from the contractor.

“Right now HRM is scheduling to open the beaches on June 30 so we’re anticipating having water quality back before that,” Campbell said.

And Mayor Peter Kelly again plans to be one of the first swimmers in the water.

Last winter he told Metro he wants everyone to join him.

“I think (another swim) will certainly lead the way in terms of accepting the harbour as swimmable,” he said back then.

When the plant first came online in the summer of 2008, the water commission combed the waterfront from the Nova Scotia Power building to the Cow’s ice cream booth looking for trash.

The improved clarity of the water uncovered several items like pylons, small beer kegs and shopping carts thrown into the harbour.

Campbell said they’re considering doing the same this summer.

“What we’ll do again for sure is a general check of the beach areas around Dingle and Black Rock to ensure everything is safe there.”

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