The largest capital project in the Town of Hawkesbury’s 2021 budget has received a significant amount of funding from the federal and Ontario governments.

On Friday, March 5, Glengarry-Prescott-Russell Member of Parliament Francis Drouin, and Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry Member of Provincial Parliament Jim McDonell, who is the Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Municipal Affairs announced more than $1,974,124 in grants for the replacement of the clarification equipment at the Hawkesbury water treatment plant.

Replacing the clarification system is part of $4.5 million in filtration and backwash upgrades that are required at the facility.  Some of the equipment at the plant was installed in 1954.

A new chemical feed system at a cost of $1,420,500 is also required at the water treatment plant, which brings the total cost of the work required to approximately $6 million.

The federal contribution for the clarification equipment replacement is $1,076,844 from the Green Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada plan.  The provincial contribution is $897,280.  The Town of Hawkesbury is contributing $717,986 from the capital budget toward the $2,692,110 clarifier replacement project.

In the water treatment process, clarification involves mixing chemicals with water that is then left to settle in a tank so that solid particles in the water can sink to the bottom and are removed from the water that is distributed through the system.

The work will include replacing deteriorating equipment and providing life-cycle upgrades to other equipment. The existing clarifier will be decommissioned and replaced with two new units. The project will include upgrading walls, the roof, the floor slab and framing to prevent structural damage and to accommodate the new clarifiers. In addition, modifications to a new control system will be made.

The upgrades will benefit residents by improving the quality of treated water, minimizing the risk of boil water advisories, and ensuring the long-term functioning of the plant.

“We welcome this news. These renovations will not only modernize our infrastructure and meet the highest environmental and technical standards but will also improve the quality and quantity of drinking water for Hawkesbury and neighboring municipalities,” said Hawkesbury Mayor Paula Assaly.

“The plans and specifications will be completed in July 2021 and the tendering process will be launched towards the end of 2021 for the selection of the contractor to carry out the work. The construction, which will take place over a period of 24 months, represent a total investment of $6 million,” said Town of Hawkesbury Director of the Department of the Environment, Martin Perron.

The Hawkesbury water treatment plant also provides water for Vankleek Hill, L’Orignal, and the Laurentian Park subdivision on Front Road, east of Hawkesbury.  The pipe which supplies the water to Vankleek Hill is buried beside Highway 34 and also supplies several properties along the route, including Pleasant Corners and St. Jude’s schools.