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Orillia receives funding for wastewater tertiary treatment project

Posted on Friday June 16, 2017

Orillia is set to receive funding to assist with the costs of significant upgrades to its Wastewater Treatment Centre (WWTC) currently underway.

The City of Orillia was successful in its grant application to the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund through the Ministry of Infrastructure and will receive just over $2.2 million from the Federal and Provincial governments to help fund its $14.5 million wastewater tertiary treatment project.

“We are thrilled that the City of Orillia was selected for funding by our partners at the Federal and Provincial level,” said Mayor Steve Clarke. “The wastewater tertiary treatment project is vital to reducing amounts of phosphorus entering into Lake Simcoe, which is an essential part of Orillia’s natural environment and a critical resource for citizens of Orillia who live, work and play within the watershed of the lake.”

Construction began in early April and excavation for the new tertiary filter building is currently underway. The project involves design and construction of a new cloth media tertiary filtration process, complete with a hydraulic lift station, cloth media filters and buildings to house the individual processes. Other components associated with these processes include: chemical dosing system, chemical storage, boiler and HVAC systems, piping, electrical, controls and instrumentation equipment to facilitate phosphorus removal. The WWTC upgrade will include the retrofit of the aeration process equipment, as well as the construction of a new blower building for optimization of the WWTC processes, including automation, energy efficiency and ammonia nitrogen removal.

“As the Orillia Wastewater Treatment Centre discharges into Lake Simcoe, the City of Orillia must meet stringent environmental compliance approval limits to ensure the protection of the lake’s ecosystem,” said Andrew Schell, Director of Environmental Services and Operations. “In the face of climate change, invasive species, and the pressures of population growth and development, strong action such as tertiary wastewater treatment is needed to protect and restore the ecological health of the Lake Simcoe.”

As required by the Lake Simcoe Protection Act, new compliance limits for phosphorus entering Lake Simcoe came into effect in June 2015. Tertiary treatment and process optimization at the WWTC are required to ensure the City’s annual average of phosphorus can be achieved with consistency under increased flow and higher total phosphorus concentrations.

In October 2016, Council awarded ASCO Construction Ltd. the contract for the tendered sum of $12.8 million plus HST. The project is expected to be completed by March 2018. For more information on this project, visit

The Government of Canada is providing Ontario with over $569 million under the Canada-Ontario Clean Water and Wastewater Fund (CWWF) and will fund up to 50 percent of the eligible project costs. The provincial government is providing up to $270 million, and will fund up to 25 percent of total eligible project costs. The CWWF is designed to improve the safety and quality of water for Canadian families, while supporting a clean economy.

The City of Orillia is a city of 31,000 people in the heart of Ontario’s Lake Country on the shores of Lake Couchiching and Lake Simcoe. Visit our website at


Percival Thomas
Manager of Water/Wastewater Systems & Compliance


Melissa Gowanlock
Manager of Communications
705-238-9209 (cell)