Five years after the federal and provincial governments announced that they would grant $18 million to South Dundas to fully fund construction of a new waste water treatment plant in Iroquois, the plant is up and running and producing the highest quality effluent for discharge into the St. Lawrence River.
Late mayor Charles Barkley played a key role in securing this funding, which he knew about before his death June 17, 2009.
The new plant has been running for 1.5 months. It took about two years to complete construction. Monday, July 28, construction and government officials gathered on site to celebrate its completion, and tour the new $18 million facility that provides a secondary treatment process, which improves the quality of wastewater effluent.
MP Guy Lauzon spoke fondly of Barkley and his determination to make government officials aware of the need for this much needed project that the small community of Iroquois could never afford, at Monday’s completion event.
“For years, I don’t think there was ever a time when I saw Charles that he didn’t mention this project,” said Lauzon, who still remembers the emotion of the official funding announcement event that took place three days after Barkley’s funeral.
The final project cost was $18,062,067. The governments of Canada and Ontario each contributed $9 million, with South Dundas providing the remaining $62,067.
South Dundas mayor Steven Byvelds spoke about the importance of that funding for this project. He explained that if the sewer users of Iroquois had to foot the bill for this project under the traditional one-third funding formula, the new plant would have cost each user $8,500. “We need to really recognize the importance of this grant. It is a big savings to the users of the Iroquois waste water treatment plant,” he said.
The new plant is currently operating at about one-third of its total capacity.
Not only does the upgraded plant better protect the environment and ensure the health and safety of local residents, its increased capacity allows the Municipality of South Dundas to treat sufficient wastewater to support future growth.
“Without our partners, this would not have happened,” said Byvelds.
The new Iroquois waste water treatment plant is fully automated, but can be run manually, if necessary. It features UV disinfection and has a storm water tank to allow the storage of storm water in large rain events to avoid over taxing the system and virtually eliminating the possibility of ever having to bypass the treatment process.
Project contractor was J.C. Sulpher Construction.
Ian Kemp, supervisor of water and wastewater operations for the Municipality of South Dundas is happy to report that the new plant is running extremely efficiently. “The product we are producing here is exceptionally good,” he said. He explained that by Ministry of the Environment standards up to 200 e.coli per 100 ml is allowable. “This has two,” he said holding up a 100 ml sample of clear water, the product being discharged from this plant.