New water treatment plant could be on the horizon for Wallaceburg

Photo via CK PUC

Work is underway for a new water treatment plant proposed for Wallaceburg.

The Chatham-Kent Public Utilities Commission has approved an environmental assessment for the preliminary design that will give the possible future plant new technology and extra capacity for future expansion if needed. The expansion and improvements would allow the plant to supply water to a large commercial customer if required.

PUC General Manager Tim Sunderland said the engineers will look at more cost-effective treatment options, better energy efficiency, and relocating the water intake in the Chenal Ecarte to better handle the current and future community needs of Wallaceburg.

The water intake at the Wallaceburg treatment water plant has been shut down several times over the years because of spills upstream in Sarnia’s Chemical Valley, and due to high turbidity during various wet weather events.

“We want to build the facility for the current needs and have it available to be able to expand very quickly,” he said.

The current water plant is 74 years old and has had costly repairs along the way because it’s so old. In 2016, the PUC approved a 10-year, $6.4 million rehabilitation plan for the current plant and now it finds the repair costs are rising too much and a new plan is needed.

At its monthly meeting on Thursday, the PUC also agreed to replace watermains in Blenheim. The commission approved nearly one million dollars for the work on Ellen and Talbot Streets that includes new road pavement and new fire hydrants.