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Sewage update: Funding for Phase 2 biosolids project another step in the right direction

On Aug. 16, three levels of government announced a total of $552 million in funding for the Phase 2 Biosolids Facilities Project at Winnipeg’s North End Water Pollution Control Centre (NEWPCC).

The new biosolids facility at the north end sewage treatment plant is the city’s No. 1 infrastructure priority according to the 2020 Infrastructure Plan – replacing end-of-life infrastructure and enabling continued population growth.

Earlier this summer, after years of advocacy from LWF members, city officials updated the design for the biosolids facility, increasing digester capacity in order to achieve long-overdue phosphorus compliance with NEWPCC’s provincial licence requirements.

This new biosolids design works in concert with an approved interim phosphorus-reduction solution (expected to be up and running by August 2023) that will use ferric chloride to bind to phosphorus and remove it from the plant’s liquid waste stream. The resulting solid waste will be treated by increasing biosolids digester capacity.

Environmental protection for Lake Winnipeg will only be realized if the new biosolids facilities are designed and built with increased capacity to achieve phosphorus compliance – something that wasn’t included in the initial funding application in 2019.

The cost of increased digester capacity – currently estimated at $130 million – has been referred to the 2024-27 budget process, and we are committed to holding Winnipeg’s next city council accountable to approving it.

Progress at the north end plant is the result of the untiring advocacy of LWF members. Thank you for speaking up for Lake Winnipeg – together we are making a difference!

Check out online media coverage of the Phase 2 funding announcement from the Winnipeg Free Press and Global News Winnipeg.

You can also read LWF Executive Director Alexis Kanu’s submission to Winnipeg’s Standing Policy Committee on Water and Waste, Riverbank Management and the Environment in support of phosphorus compliance at NEWPCC on our Resources for Citizens webpage.

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