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Repairs made at sewage treatment plant but still more to be completed

The number of problems at the new facility is alarming, one councillor says.
wastewater treatment plant exterior
Councillors heard about various repairs that have been made and others that are pending at Thompson’s new sewage treatment plant.

Thompson city council heard about a laundry list of issues and needed repairs at the sewage treatment plant during their May 16 committee of the whole meeting.

The public works report by department director Neil MacLaine said one of the digesters has a broken pipe that will need draining and inspection to assess needed repairs, which will be scheduled for low-flow season in July or August. The public works department is also working to figure out when and why an issue with a submergible mixer occurred and the caustic soda system auto-mode is not functional, though it still operate in manual mode. UV bulb washer parts have been received and repairs will be completed shortly. There is also an issue with piping supports vibrating loose in the piping hall.

“The department is investigating the cause so a solution can be developed,” MacLaine wrote in his report.

Recent repairs completed at the plant include the biofilter air purification recirculating pump and a leak in the truck dump waste pipe. Energy recovery ventilation units 1, 2 and 3 are back online following an icing issue during the winter, though one can only be operated in manual mode until the auto-switch is repaired. The department is also awaiting electrical breakers for that unit’s compressor.

Parts needed to complete alum injection pump repairs are also on order.

There were also computer issues, now resolved, related to migration from Windows 10 to Windows 11 and software compatibility.

“I’m alarmed with the number of things that are wrong with our new wastewater treatment plant,” said Coun. Jeff Fountain, noting that the facility is still fairly new and cost about $36 million to build.

The city has recently held meetings with Manitoba Climate and Conservation, the Manitoba Water Services Board and Stantec, which oversaw the facility’s design and construction, about plant operations and the decommissioning of the old sewage treatment plant and lagoon.