One of the more picturesque areas in the National Capital Region, the Ottawa River’s surroundings are a focal point for residents and tourists alike, providing recreational opportunities for active recreation like swimming and boating and passive recreation for the many who stroll the river’s edge. The problem was that the city’s outdated sewer systems in the downtown area could be overwhelmed in times of wet weather and the sewer overflows would discharge into the Ottawa River.
To improve the river’s water quality and preserve the recreational areas, the City of Ottawa completed an action plan aimed at reducing the volume of discharge. Our water engineering team recommended the innovative solution of using a real time control system to automatically control the sewer flow, taking advantage of existing piping and treatment facilities to curtail overflow into the river. By utilizing existing piping and treatment facilities, the need to invest in new infrastructure was reduced and time was saved. In the first three years of operation, the system led to a 60 to 70 percent reduction in the volume of overflows into the river.