Protecting the environment and our future
A major upgrade to Portage la Prairie’s Water Pollution Control Facility (WPCF) is required to meet new provincial and federal water quality standards. The upgrade must reduce nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorous) discharged to the Assiniboine River in a province-wide effort to reduce harmful algae blooms on Lake Winnipeg that are negatively impacting one of our nation’s largest lakes, and adversely affecting water quality in Manitoba. A major upgrade to Portage la Prairie’s Water Pollution Control Facility is required to meet new provincial and federal water quality standards. The project also addresses a needed overall renewal of the facility, which is mostly 25 years old.
The required upgrade to Portage la Prairie’s Water Pollution Control Facility will be the single largest infrastructure project in the City’s history. The City conducted thorough value-for-money and risk analyses and determined that the best value will be delivered through a public-private-partnership arrangement using the design-build-finance-operate-maintain (DBFOM) model.
Funding for the project is being provided through the Investing in Canada Plan. The Manitoba government will provide more than $61 million. The Government of Canada and the City of Portage la Prairie, are providing more than $60 million and $59 million respectively. The City’s funding will be financed through its selected operating partner.
Careful City budgeting, and increased utility rates for all Portage la Prairie residents and businesses will be necessary to fund the upgrade, and the increased cost of operation. The City will do its utmost to minimize rate increases, and will ensure the public is informed about this as the project progresses and the budget implications become known.
Beyond the required nutrient reduction that improves and protects water quality, our City will ensure that the upgrades also result in other benefits to the environment and our community, including eliminating odour emissions, strengthening local economic activity and supporting local trades and technical expertise. Other benefits include:
- eliminating odour emissions
- supporting local trades and technical expertise and providing local jobs
- strengthening local economic activity
- increasing municipal capacity up to 25% to support residential and commercial growth
- ensuring this important municipal asset is efficiently operated and well maintained to secure its longevity
- increasing the energy efficiency of the plant
- capturing and processing the plant’s own biogas byproduct for beneficial reuse — offsetting the facility’s energy consumption and minimizing its greenhouse gas emissions
- more effectively capturing beneficial biosolids for agricultural purposes
- minimizing the need for chemicals in the treatment process
- ensuring the plant’s capability to support development with a sustainable approach to wastewater treatment — which in turn supports our region’s agricultural processing and export economy, and future economic growth
- securing equitable investment from all levels of government
Timelines: key project milestones
August 2020: Request for Statements of Qualifications issued by the City of Portage la Prairie
Early 2021: Request for Proposals issued by the City of Portage la Prairie
Winter 2021: Proponent selected to design, build and finance the upgrades, and to operate and maintain the facility
Spring 2022: Construction begins
Summer 2025: Construction completion
This project is funded in part by the Government of Canada, the Province of Manitoba and the City of Portage la Prairie.