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​As the Gold Bar Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) continues to operate, EPCOR is committed to providing a safe working environment for Gold Bar employees, while still considering the needs of the surrounding community. Based on current capacity and research, there are two areas in which we can improve employee safety and hygiene.

1. Safe movement

Currently, most of the parking stalls at Gold Bar WWTP are close to active treatment and process areas at the centre of the plant. This creates significant safety risks such as traffic congestion and increased chance of accidents between pedestrians and vehicles. There is a need to provide additional on-site parking stalls for employees and contractors away from active treatment areas and process areas while still having parking near the workplace.

2. Hygiene and safety

In 2015, EPCOR completed a study which assessed the risks to employees working with wastewater and its biological hazards. A 2017 review recommended specific facility improvements. For instance, clean and dirty clothing is not properly separated (showers are between clean lockers and dirty lockers). Some locker and shower facilities also require staff to walk through process areas and lockers themselves are in process hallways.

We have a requirement to plan for facilities that provide the following:

  • The ability for employees to keep street clothes and personal items separate from PPE and work clothes; 

  • Shower and hand-washing areas for clean up after contact with wastewater; and

  • Locker rooms with storage space for boots that is separate and at floor level or at bottom of lockers.


Facility design options

In February 2018, EPCOR notified the public and consulted on a design option to meet the safe movement and hygiene and safety objectives listed above. After listening to the feedback provided by the public, we decided to explore different design alternatives to meet the objectives of the project. Each of the options considered included on-site parking in a defined location, and changing and shower facilities in a place separate from process areas. Throughout this process we compared several different options by considering:

  • The location of the parking and hygiene facilities
  • The sizing and type of structure
  • The cost to implement
  • The implications of location and sizing decisions

We brought these design options to the broader public during our third Citizen Planning Committee (CPC) workshop and our community open house held on June 25, 2019. The original design and preferred option are shown below.

Original proposal

​Parking

  • Surface parking lot with 220 stalls

​Buildings

  • Operations Centre: three story, Mtc./Ops. lockers, HEI Office, Control Room
  • Maintenance/Admin offices (future)

​Other

  • City Parks Yard relocated elsewhere
  • Nordic Ski Club relocated
  • Mountain bike trail stays as-is but would be relocated and rebuilt in the future
  • Parking accessible to public after daytime work hours

​Recommended design—Inside fence at East end of the site

 

​Parking

  • Build a 150 stall surface parking lot at the east end and use a 45 stall surface lot in the south-central area near the new Ops Centre.
  • Reduce the laydown area

​Buildings

  • Operations Centre: one story, inside the fenceline
  • Maintenance/Admin offices moved from the centre to the east end, inside the fence 

​Other

  • City Parks Yard and Nordic Ski Club unchanged. No development outside of the existing fenceline.
  • Main entrance moved to east end of the site (arriving vehicles will now use Gold Bar park Road; exiting vehicles are unchanged).

​Schedule

EPCOR plans on engaging further with the public regarding design elements the community would like to see reflected in the proposed parking feature and operations centre. Construction initiation is currently planned for Fall 2019, with a completion date of Fall 2020.