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Construction to fix sewage backup’s behind schedule

The upgrades to the Whitney-Tisdale Sanitation System are on budget, but behind schedule. They’re still in the first phase of construction, which includes a new pumping station, a standby power system, and storage. A representative from JL Richards, the engineering company behind the projects, says they’ve had some timing setbacks.

“Contractors encountered some pretty heavy rainfall in August and September 2014 resulting in failure in a slope. Of course […] we had some extreme cold winters in 2015 which impacted the construction.

Throughout these things; the city, the contractor, and the consultant have been working together to resolve these things. We have had ongoing discussions, face-to-face meetings as required, to address these things.”

Issues include:

– Construction difficulties in achieving excavation for deepest portion of pumping station
– Significant rainfall in August/September 2014 resulting in slope slough- ins
– Extremely cold winter 2015 impacting construction
– Concrete wet well structure settlement
– City/Consultant/Contractor working together to resolve issues. Many conference calls, face-to-face meetings, site visits, geotechnical investigations, etc.
– Working within the framework of the Partnering Charter signed by all parties at the beginning of construction

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The first phase should be done by the end of the year, about three months behind what was planned.

The federal and provincial governments recently announced they are investing over $5-million into the second phase of the project, which hasn’t started yet. City Engineer Luc Duval put the application in to get the grant, and Mayor Steve Black says that is good news.

“A $5.2-million dollar total is definitely very beneficial to the city of Timmins, and to the water and sewer rate payers, who this funding will be applied against that programming.”

Phase one of the upgrades is costing $7.3-million. Once the project is finished, Duval says the goal is to have zero sewage backups. Right now we average at about 10 a year.

Phase One includes:

– A new Pumping Station No. 4 (PS No. 4) including deep wet well ; sanitary and storm pumps; automated screening system ; process piping ; and a building to house all components
– Standby power system (diesel generator) Two large above ground equalization storage tanks 4, 000 m3 capacity each)
– Piping to allow conveying flows to and from equalization tanks and to forcemain (connecting to PS No. 5)
Instrumentation and Controls to allow for monitoring , controlling , alarming and reporting of the systems

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