Protecting Grand Bend's pristine beaches
Malfunctioning private septic systems and effluent discharges from an existing treatment plant were adversely impacting surface and groundwater quality in the community of Grand Bend, an area known for pristine beaches and small town charm on the shores of Lake Huron. In 2008, the Municipalities of Lambton Shores and South Huron retained a firm to design and construct a new tertiary level treatment plant. However, excessive budget overruns forced the municipalities to halt the project and seek new ideas to reduce the expected construction cost of $25M.
In 2013, the municipalities retained Stantec to redesign the facility. From the outset, we saw value in pursuing the redesign from a new angle. The use of the ISI Envision® framework was proposed during the early stages of the project, and our team sought opportunities to include sustainable features throughout the facility’s design.
Working with municipal staff, we developed a simpler, lower cost solution (BNR with advanced tertiary filtration) that reduced the project’s cost to within the original budget of $15M. Key sustainable features include a constructed wetland to support native wildlife species and further buffer treated effluent, flexible design that makes the facility responsive to changing sewage flows, reduced construction and operational costs, construction within the boundaries of the original facility’s footprint to protect prime farmland, and trails and interpretive signage to encourage community visitors.
This project is the first ISI Envision® verification in Canada, and first wastewater facility to be ISI Envision®-verified in North America. It received the rating system’s Platinum award, the highest level of achievement.
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