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Ottawa approves $57 million of upgrades to wastewater plant


April 28, 2020
By Anthony Capkun

The City of Ottawa has approved $57.2 million of upgrades to the cogeneration system for wastewater treatment at the Robert O.Pickard Environmental Centre in Gloucester, Ont.

The approval, which was announced October 15, could save up to $80 million in utility costs over 25 years.

The current cogeneration system, which came online in 1997, has saved the city between $1 and $1.4 million in utility costs per year.

The cogeneration process converts methane from the wastewater treatment plant into electricity, heat and gas for the plant. Upgrades would reduce the plant’s GHG emissions by an estimated 1,565 tonnes per year and allow the plant to operate during sustained power outages, preventing overflow of untreated wastewater from entering the Ottawa River.

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The upgrades would be completed by 2024 and paid for using wastewater reserve and existing capital project accounts. Staff expect to recuperate this cost after approximately 14 years.