2016 Annual Report

2016 Annual Report

Chairman's Message

On behalf of the Alberta Capital Region Wastewater Commission Board, I am pleased to be able to share with you some of the activities and accomplishments of the ACRWC in 2016. I invite you to read the enclosed updates and reflect on how we continue to work towards ensuring that the ACRWC supports a prosperous and sustainable region.

In 2016 the ACRWC Board updated our Source Control Bylaw that sets limitations on the quality of wastewater we accept from our members. The updated bylaw builds on the first version from 2011 by aligning more to the Canadian Council of the Ministers of Environment’s model bylaw. We also felt it was important to adopt a compliance policy to ensure our members are accountable to meet the quality requirements.

Another important strategic direction was setting the basis of a regulatory framework for our Wet Weather Flow Management Strategy. Ever since its inception, the ACRWC has been plagued by the effects of excess wet weather flows in our system. A mechanism to ensure our members have a clear path of accountability to manage and eventually eliminate these excess flows was long overdue.

It is an honour and a privilege for me to serve as the Chair of the ACRWC Board. The success of the past year is due to the commitment by the Board, our staff, our members and our partners. Thank you to everyone for their efforts in helping the ACRWC achieve its goals.

Darrell Hollands


Alberta Capital Region Wastewater Commission

General Manager's Message

I am happy to present the Alberta Capital Region Wastewater Commission’s Annual Report for 2016.

Our efforts are essential to the continued growth and sustainability of the region by ensuring we protect the North Saskatchewan River. Without the hard work and dedication of our employees, we would have been unable to achieve our goals.

Our success also depends on close cooperation and collaboration with our partners. We continue to work closely with the Province of Alberta, our member municipalities, the City of Edmonton and EPCOR to ensure we deliver excellent wastewater services to the region.

In 2016, with the help and guidance of our members and industry, we updated our Source Control Bylaw and implemented our first Code of Practice. This is an often overlooked but essential element of wastewater treatment. Preventing contaminants from entering the wastewater system at their source is the first line of defense in protecting the environment as well as the health and welfare of our staff and citizens.

In 2016, at our Fort Saskatchewan Pump Station, we experienced one of the most challenging of all line breaks we can face. Through the engagement of our staff and contractors we managed to maintain service to the three communities affected by this break without spilling any wastewater to the North Saskatchewan River. The response to this incident is testimony to the investment in developing our management systems and emergency response programs.

I am privileged to be able to lead such a great organization. I wish to express my gratitude to our staff, our consultants and contractors and our regional partners for their help and hard work in 2016.

Michael Darbyshire, P. Eng.

General Manager

Alberta Capital Region Wastewater Commission

In 2016, our plant treated 80.7 million liters per day on average for a total of 29.5 billion litres over the course of the year. 

 Effluent quality met all Provincial and Federal limits in all months of 2016.

Source Control Program

• ACRWC’s Source Control Bylaw (Bylaw No.8) was significantly revised and then enacted on March 18, 2016.

• ACRWC developed and enacted its initial industrial sector specific Code of Practice – Oil & Gas Operations and Support Services. Businesses operating within this sector have until January 1, 2019 to comply with the regulatory requirements within the new Code of Practice.

• 236 industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) premises within 24 identified Sectors of Concern were inspected. The number of inspections conducted in 2016 was slightly below the annual target of 250 inspections to achieve a five-year cycle objective of inspecting each of the 1260 ICIs identified within all Sectors of Concern.

• Source Control staff provided recommendations to 85 ICI premises to aid dischargers with achieving or maintaining compliance to regional sewer use bylaws.

• 290 samples were collected in total:
– 220 over-strength samples; and
– 70 compliance samples.

• Nearly 200 regional bylaw contraventions were identified.

• 34 Notices of Violation were issued.

• 17 Wastewater Discharge Permits were issued to manage non-compliant, seasonal or high volume discharges.

Environmental Management System (EMS)

• ACRWC’s EMS progressed into its second three-year cycle. A successful surveillance audit to international EMS Standard ISO 14001:2004 by ACRWC’s external registrar was conducted.

• Preliminary planning was conducted to determine how to achieve compliance to the newly revised ISO standard (ISO 14001:2015).

Health and Safety Program

• Continued to systematically address the gaps and opportunities in ACRWC’s Health and Safety Management System as was identified within the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Act, Regulations and Code Gap Analysis conducted back in 2015:

– Developed a formal Hazard Assessment process with participation from many different work groups resulted in the creation of our first 3 formal Job Hazard Analysis;

– Developed and implemented a Field Level Hazard Assessment program;

– Developed and implemented Confined Space Entry Rescue protocol; and

– Enhanced the existing Confined Space Entry Hazard Assessment process.


ACRWC worked on the following projects in 2016. Our capital expenditures were $9.47 million.


• The ACRWC worked with the City of Edmonton and AMEC Foster Wheeler on an environmental assessment of the existing and abandoned Bremner sewage lagoons adjacent to the Treatment Plant. The ACRWC was looking at the possibility of using the Bremner site as a flow storage facility.

• Stantec Consulting assisted the ACRWC with the planning study on the upgrades to the START/Outfall sewer line. This 18km long sewer system is experiencing H2S corrosion and hydraulic capacity limitations. Stantec has developed an annual design/construction phased approach to the overall project to help the ACRWC keep within our budget and resource constraints. The ACRWC then developed START/Outfall upgrade 10-year implementation plan.

• The ACRWC worked with Parkland County and The City of Spruce Grove to discuss the existing Spruce Grove Storage Ponds. The ACRWC is considering utilizing the ponds for flow storage to protect Big Lake and to defer twinning of the Parkland forcemain.

• Advisian conducted a preliminary design for the ACRWC to upgrade four river-crossing siphons. Failure of these river crossing siphons will have catastrophic consequence to the river environment and the organization’s reputation and operation.

• With the help of Forte Consulting Ltd., the ACRWC completed Phase I GIS upgrade, providing a supportive tool to enhancing engineering planning and daily operation.

• CIMA+ assessed all facilities in the treatment plant to clarify their building classification and then recommended modifications to ensure the existing facilities meeting the updated classification.

• Stantec completed a conceptual design for treatment plant effluent flow monitoring and sampling station.


• ISL Engineering began the design for the twinning of approximately 3.5 km of the parkland gravity sewer along Jennifer Heil Way to Century Road. The sewer requires additional hydraulic capacity. Construction to take place in 2017.

• ISL Engineering completed the design for the twinning of the Fort Saskatchewan forcemain. The new 5 km line will provide capacity to accommodate growth and will provide redundancy for maintenance purposes.

• GHD Engineering completed the detailed design for a new Digester Gas Flare system to be located just south of the plant fermenters. The existing flare system has reached the end of life. The construction of the new facility has been planned for 2019.

• Associated Engineering completed the design for the replacement of the backup power systems at Morinville Pump Station and the Parkland Pump Station. This is part of an ongoing project to upgrade our instrumentation and electrical systems.

• Stantec Consulting was hired to complete the design for upgrades on a 400m long section of the SERTS North sewer from Sherwood Park. This very deep section of sewer has experienced H2S corrosion and requires replacement using trenchless construction methods.


• Sureway Construction completed the installation of 1.8 km of 900mm sewer from Beaumont west to be used as a wet weather flow storage facility.

• Borger Construction was hired to complete the twinning of the Fort Saskatchewan forcemain. Construction carried over in to 2017.

• Schendel Mechanical completed the replacement of the heating and ventilation system at the Fort Saskatchewan pump station.

• Tri-Tec Construction completed the renovations to the Control Room here at the plant.

• Directional Mining & Drilling completed the installation of 400 meters of 1,050 mm diameter forcemain routed through unstable soil along the shore of Big Lake to replace a steel section of pipe that had ongoing issues with reliability.

• Vector Electric competed upgrades to the controls, instrumentation and remote communications systems at the Fort Saskatchewan Pump Station.

For the full annual report as well as the financial statements for the year please visit our Downloads page.