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​How we plan for the long term

On average, over $50 million in capital projects for maintenance and rehabilitation are undertaken during each performance based regulation (PBR) period at Gold Bar Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP). For the 2017-2021 period, City Council approved $235 million in funding for capital projects at Gold Bar WWTP.

EPCOR has committed to accommodating future flows at the plant through 2060 while remaining within our existing fenceline.

Most investment at Gold Bar WWTP is reliability driven: maintaining/replacing assets to keep the plant running safely and reliably. As assets are repaired or replaced, there are often positive impacts on the plant's ability to treat wastewater.

Integrated Resource Plan (IRP)

EPCOR’s IRP is a long term planning process, which is continuously updated. The IRP looks at traditional factors of estimated demand and treatment capacity, while also considering things like climate change, corporate goals, community values and new technologies. The IRP also focuses on reliability and rehabilitation of current assets while aligning current and future work to help achieve the five shared outcomes between EPCOR and nearby communities (quality of life; safety; relationship; environment; reliable, responsible and sustainable.)

EPCOR’s IRP also takes population growth and water conservation into consideration. Total water usage in Edmonton has essentially stayed the same over the last 40 years as added flows from population growth have been offset by a systematic decline in water consumption. This trend in water consumption affects the solids, liquids and nutrients treated at Gold Bar WWTP.

How EPCOR will handle future flows at the Gold Bar WWTP

The Gold Bar WWTP is able to safely handle incoming wastewater flows without expanding beyond the current footprint and fenceline through to 2060. We'll have to increase nutrient removal capacity in order to keep pace. To do this, we'll be adding membrane technology to our secondary clarifier tanks. If South Edmonton Sanitary Sewer (SESS) flows are redistributed between Gold Bar WWTP and Alberta Capital Region Wastewater Commission (ACRWC) these additions will be required at a slower pace.

Starting in 2027, EPCOR will start upgrading existing secondary clarifier tanks with membrane technology.

Membrane technology that would be added to existing tanks.

​Buffer zones from wastewater treatment plants

EPCOR understands the importance of odour reduction and has prioritized plans to continue decreasing odour impacts beyond the fenceline.

Buffer zones or setback distances are design standards for new infrastructure. Setback distances are designed to limit the chances of odours impacting the community. This requirement was first considered as part of provincial design guidelines in 1976, approximately 20 years after the plant was built and about 15 years after residents had moved in closer to the plant. Gold Bar is 100% compliant with provincial environmental standards and guidelines.

We're continuing to invest in odour management and monitoring. New monitoring systems are being installed that will provide real-time reporting on ambient air quality next to the plant, and help ensure Gold Bar remains compliant at all times.