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Engineering Project

Biogas Utilization Upgrades, Wastewater Treatment Facility

The project is aimed at facilitating the storing of surplus biogas being produced at the WwTF for use in generating additional electricity. Project budget is $7.1M and expected construction start is 2018–19.

Project Status
Last updated January 2016

  • The City is finalizing a design brief and will be proceeding with detailed design of new or modified biogas facilities. 
  • The only visible changes from Lakeshore Drive or Tiffin Street will be the presence of low-profile, medium pressure, steel tank(s) resembling propane tanks, a new low-profile compressor building and, eventually, the reduction of a flame (biogas flare). The flare stack will remain on-site and potentially utilized during maintenance activities or due to process needs, but the flaring of waste biogas will eventually be reduced and largely eliminated.
  • The City will ensure that all new facilities are safe and meet the highest standards. The technology used is identical to natural gas or propane appliances. The facilities will be inspected by the Technical Standards and Safety Authority.
  • Construction is tentatively to take place in 2018. Some temporary and minor noise or vibration and extra traffic may result during the construction phase which is expected to take approximately one year. The City will mitigate these issues by considering materials and methods which have minimal impacts upon the community and community functions.


In 2010, the Purchasing Branch, in conjunction with the Engineering Department, issued RFP 2010-145P for Consulting Engineering Services to investigate the best use of the biogas produced at the Wastewater Treatment Facility (WwTF) to enhance or supplement the existing biogas electricity generating equipment.

A Schedule B Class EA process was initiated and a Public Information Centre was held at City Hall on April 3, 2012. The Ministry of Environment has since advised that the project does not require approval under the Environmental Assessment (EA) Act and is a Category A Electricity Project as classified under O. Reg. 116/01. As such, the City will close out the current process however will proceed with sending notification to those that have expressed an interest and have provided feedback from the open house and surveys.

Motion 12-G-242, from Staff Report ENG031-12, stated "That the recommendations for the Wastewater Treatment Facility (WwTF) Biogas Utilization Upgrades, be endorsed as follows":

  1. Configure the two (2) existing co-generators to optimize the use of biogas for the WwTF electrical load displacement and/or feed power back to the distribution grid; 
  2. Continue the use of biogas for WwTF hydronic heating and process improvement and expand within the WwTF where possible; and, 
  3. Construct horizontal medium pressurized steel biogas storage vessel(s) and auxiliary buildings with enhanced security.

Subsequent to the above motion, the City advised they were unsuccessful for the FIT application. City staff are monitoring for any new developments.

All public input was considered and we appreciate all comments and efforts from those who gave assistance to the City in developing its plans for enhanced biogas utilization. Although not all suggestions and ideas could be implemented, we believe that public input has benefitted all citizens of Barrie.

Documents & Visualizations

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Flare coming from the stack at the WwTF?

Excess bio gas (a natural bi-product of sewage treatment) is being burnt off. This is a normal process at the WwTF.

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