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Skip Navigation LinksAdvanced-Nutrient-Removal-Solution-at-the-WwTF Advanced Nutrient Removal Solution at the WwTF

DESIGN Project

Advanced Nutrient Removal Solution at the WwTF

The City is undertaking a project to retrofit a portion of the Wastewater Treatment Facility (WwTF) in order to meet new Provincial regulations.

Program Updates

Important milestones updates will be provided starting in 2021.

Projects Included in the Program

There are many projects required at Barrie's WwTF with the goal of meeting the provincial requirements for phosphorus reduction, to accommodate population growth, and to upgrade treatment systems that are at the end of their useful life. 

The following projects in the 2020 Capital Plan are included in the program. These projects were identified in the 2019 Wastewater Treatment Master Plan:

  • Upgrade/replace electrical substation infrastructure to service future needs,
  • Conversion of the high purity oxygen biological system to a conventional fine bubble aeration system,
  • Implementation of Membrane Bio Reactor (MBR) treatment to meet the stringent phosphorus requirements to service population growth to 2041,
  • New flow attenuation facilities to address the peak flows at the plant,
  • Construction of a fourth digester to increase solids handling capacity,
  • Class Environmental Assessment and associated technical studies to increase plant capacity to 96 minimal liquid discharge Mega Litres per day (MLD).

The above program of projects is anticipated to be completed over a 13-year period.  Given the complexity of the program, the site constraints, and the need to replace existing treatment processes with newer processes will result in significant and long-term construction. 

Phosphorous Levels

“The phosphorus reduction strategy is a key part of the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan. Phosphorus helps plants in the lake grow, but having too much of it leads to excessive plant growth and a depletion of oxygen levels the fish need to thrive. The strategy to reduce phosphorus levels in Lake Simcoe by almost 40% will help improve water quality and protect the coldwater fish community”  Source: Phosphorus Reduction Strategy

Phosphorous levels are a key water quality concern in Lake Simcoe.  The Ontario government approved the Lake Simcoe Phosphorus Reduction Strategy in 2010 which established reductions in phosphorous loadings to restore Lake Simcoe's water quality and ecological health. All wastewater treatment plants on Lake Simcoe will be required to be upgraded to meet these new requirements.

The new limit requires the Barrie WwTF to maintain existing loadings of total phosphorous as flows to the Barrie WwTF increase with future development in the Secondary Plan areas and intensification of the built boundary.

The current WwTF is operating at an average day flow of 50 Mega Litres per day (MLD) and servicing a population of 150,000. The new upgraded plant will have a capacity of 96 MLD to service a residential population of 253,000.  Implementation of the program as described above is required to service this growth and additional growth beyond 2041.

Integrated Project Delivery (IPD)

Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) has been chosen to be the preferred approach based on its collaborative nature in managing and controlling risk, program schedule, program costs and scope. Another key driver for this innovative delivery approach is the need to maintain treatment performance and regulatory compliance throughout construction. This means special precautionary measures will be required to enable unit treatment processes to be isolated and taken offline, for the upgrade work to proceed in sequence. 

Construction phasing will be complex. The sequencing of the work will require careful planning by the team of contractors and consultants. The program will need to have multiple projects occurring at the same time and within the same space. It also requires flexibility in phasing the projects to deal with the complexities of the wastewater treatment plant. 

The IPD approach will facilitate this better than the traditional design-bid-build approach as IPD offers the best use of integrated expert resources and time up front with opportunity to provide high level of detail and scrutiny on design and construction process to provide cost certainty and avoid costly change orders later in the process and reduce potential for delays that result in cost escalation.

With the implementation of such a large and complex program to address population growth and Lake Simcoe phosphorus requirements, and the installation of the best available technology, the Barrie WwTF will be a flagship featuring the most advanced treatment systems in Canada for a plant of this size. IPD will be an innovative and collaborative approach for wastewater treatment, building on the City's experience with IPD project delivery.

Affected Services

No utility service interruptions are anticipated by the project. There will be no traffic impacts during the design phase. There will be increased truck traffic and contractors vehicles entering and exiting the WwTF during the construction phase anticipated in 2023.

Preliminary Schedule

Anticipated dates for main phases of the projects:

December 2020

Public procurement of the IPD Team

2021 -2022

Design validation including cost and schedule confirmation


Initiation of Program work packages implementation (construction) for the Upgrade Works

2023 - 2027

Studies and Environmental Assessment for the plant Expansion Works


WwTF Upgrade Completion

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