Nanaimo city officials say they are pleased with construction progress of the city's new water treatment plant on South Forks Road, despite a cost increase of $1 million for the project.
Water resources manager Bill Sims and engineering and public works director Susan Clift escorted media for an on-site tour on the in-progress facility, which Sims calls "probably one of the largest projects ever undertaken by the city."
The increase is mostly attributed to the province's transition from the HST back to the GST/PST system. The city would have received rebates under the HST system, but must now pay PST on project costs. "That has a huge impact on the construction industry," said Sims.
The increase will push construction costs to approximately $47 million. However, Sims said progress on the facility has been good. Work crews aim to have the concrete foundations laid by early 2014, and Sims said the general contractor, Kenaidan Contracting Ltd., is about 20 per cent through the project.
Sims said the Kenaidan has also worked well with local sub-contractors on the project, such as Knappett Industries Ltd. The project is needed to bring the city's water system in line with new Vancouver Island health Authority regulations that require water filtration. Currently, the city operates two chlorination facilities to service the municipal water supply, both of which will eventually be decommissioned once the facility is up and running. Once built, the facility will be able to filter 116 million litres of water per day. That figure represents peak summertime use 20 years from now. Beyond that time frame. Sims said the project design will include room for expansion.
The high-tech facility will use membrane filtration technology to clear water of potentially harmful microscopic organisms or very small particles that can conceal them, said Clift.
Sims said the city aims to have the new building and a clean water storage tank completed by the end of 2014. Sims said water quality in the city will improve "significantly."
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