Construction of the Site C water infrastructure project in northeast British Columbia

Water infrastructure construction projects in Canada

Canada is committed to heavy investment in infrastructure to stimulate the economy following the impacts of Covid-19. This, coupled with increased investment in water infrastructure in recent years as Canada pushes to implement secondary and tertiary treatment for wastewater, means that we expect lots of activity in this sector. This article is your definitive guide to Canada’s ongoing and upcoming water infrastructure construction projects. Between water supply, water treatment, wastewater treatment, conveyance, flood infrastructure, hydroelectric dams and ports, and marine, we outline the major water infrastructure projects across Canada.

Below is a guide of active water infrastructure construction projects in Canada, categorized in terms of preconstruction or project delivery phase.

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Projects in Preconstruction / Procurement Stage

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Projects in Construction Phase

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Projects in Preconstruction / Procurement Stage

Skyline of Stanley Park facing downtown Vancouver.
Metro Vancouver is planning the construction of a new water infrastructure project that will run deep underground in Stanley Park.

Roberts Bank Terminal 2, Greater Vancouver, BC – $2bn P3

Proposed new three-berth container terminal that would provide additional capacity of 2.4 million TEUs per year to meet the port’s forecasted demand until 2030. The project would be approximately 5.5 kilometres offshore, northwest of the existing Roberts Bank Terminal facilities.

Status: RFQ expected in late 2021.

Northwest Langley WWTP, Greater Vancouver, BC

The existing plant  is being expanded to serve residents and businesses in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows. The project will increase the plant’s capacity from serving 30,000 people in Langley to 230,000 in three municipalities. Expansion works will include conveyance, pump stations, storage tanks, and outfall pipes.

Status: Main construction works due to start by 2022.

Iona Island WWTP, Greater Vancouver, BC – $>1bn

Metro Vancouver approved an upgrade to tertiary treatment at the Iona Island Plant, the highest level of wastewater treatment available in August 2020.

Status: Pre-Planning. Construction is due to be complete by 2030.

Coquitlam Water Main, Greater Vancouver, BC – $670m

Construction of a new tunnel to bring water from the Coquitlam Lake Reservoir to the growing populations of the Tri-Cities, Surrey and points east. The tunnel will be dug through rock, soil, and gravel deep down at the south end of Coquitlam Lake, bringing fresh water to treatment facilities at the top of Pipeline Road, which will also be upgraded to handle the increased capacity.

Status: In planning. Construction is set to start by 2023.

Tofino WWTP, Vancouver Island, BC – $80m

Plans include a new WWTP, conveyance system, outfall, and solids handling facility for the Tofino area. 

Status: Project postponed as all bids exceeded the funding level of $55m.

Annacis Water Supply Tunnel, Greater Vancouver, BC – $450m

Metro Vancouver is constructing a new 2.3km-long water supply tunnel deep under the Fraser River, between the cities of New Westminster and Surrey.

Status: RFP to be issued in Feb / Mar 2021. Construction is due to start later in 2021.

Stanley Park Water Tunnel, Vancouver, BC – $200m

Metro Vancouver is planning to construct a major water infrastructure project deep underground in Stanley Park. The new water supply tunnel will replace an existing water main that was built in the 1930s and is nearing the end of its service life. Construction of this water supply tunnel is scheduled to begin in late 2022 and finish in 2026.

Status: RFQ due in early 2021.

Capilano Watershed Infrastructure Upgrades – $50m

The two projects currently being planned include a backup power system to ensure a reliable supply of drinking water in case of a power outage, as well as improvements to Metro Vancouver’s watershed gatehouse area. 

Status: Construction starts in 2021.

Cambie-Richmond Water Supply Tunnel, Richmond, BC

Proposed water supply tunnel for the Richmond area.

Status: Conceptual Design.

Haney Main Water Supply Tunnel, BC

Status: Conceptual Design.

Fleetwood Reservoir and Water Main, Surrey (Greater Vancouver), BC

A new underground reservoir and water main in the city of Surrey to continue delivering clean, safe drinking water to the growing communities south of the Fraser River.

Status: RFQ expected in 2021.

Annacis Island Gravity Thickener and Filters, Delta, BC – $70m

This project includes two new additional trickling filters, a trickling filter pump station, two new additional gravity thickeners, two new additional centrifuges and a new maintenance workshop annex. Work has not yet been tendered and is expected to run until 2026.

Status: Currently at RFQ stage. Construction complete by 2026.

Lloydminster Wastewater Treatment Facility, Lloydminster, AB – $81m

This project involves constructing a mechanical wastewater treatment facility near the existing wastewater lagoons to establish a modernized efficient system.

Status: Proposed.

Water Pollution Control Facility Upgrading, Portage la Prairie, MB – $172m P3 DBFOM

A major upgrade to the Water Pollution Control Facility is required to meet new provincial and federal water quality standards. The upgrade must reduce nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorous) discharged from the facility to the Assiniboine River. 

Status: RFP issued in Dec 2020. Construction is set to begin in early 2022.

Dry Reservoir, Springbank, Calgary, AB – $432m

The Springbank Off-stream Reservoir is a dry reservoir that will store water temporarily during a flood. It will work in tandem with the Glenmore Reservoir in Calgary. Together, the combined storage capacity would accommodate water volumes equal to Calgary’s 2013 flood.

Status: Proposed.

Projects in Construction Phase

Construction of the Site C water infrastructure project in northeast British Columbia
The Site C Clean Energy project involves the construction of a hydroelectric dam on the Peace River. Photo courtesy of the Government of BC.

Site C Clean Energy, Fort St John, BC – $10.7bn

This hydroelectric earthfill dam on the Peace River includes several components: an earthfill dam 1,050 metres long and 60 metres high, a 1,100-MW generating station and associated structures, an 83-kilometre-long reservoir, a realignment of six sections of Highway 29, and two 77-kilometre transmission lines along an existing transmission line right-of-way, connecting Site C to the existing provincial power grid.

Status: Due for completion by 2024, but the project’s future remains uncertain due to geotechnical risks.

Centerm Expansion and South Shore Access, Vancouver, BC – $450m DB

This project includes expansion and reconfiguration of the container terminal, construction of a new overpass, and major tenant upgrades.

Status: Completion by early 2022.

Comox Valley WWTP, Vancouver Island, BC – $126m DB

This project involves the completion of a new water treatment system that will comply with the province of British Columbia’s water treatment objectives and guidelines. The project will deliver three main benefits including eliminating the need for turbidity-related boil water notices, removing the risk of viruses and bacteria in drinking water, and providing a secure supply of reliable, high-quality drinking water for decades to come.

Status: Completion by 2021.

Consolidated Wastewater Treatment Plant, Powell River, BC – $76m

This treatment facility will consolidate all wastewater from existing plants in Westview, Townsite, and the Wildwood lagoon. It will significantly improve how Powell River treats wastewater and minimize human impact on the marine environment. It will also be easier to operate, maintain, and administer than the three existing facilities.Status: Completion by 2022.

CFB Esquimalt A/B Jetty Recapitalization, Victoria, BC – $780m

The aim of the jetty project is to demolish the existing A and B jetties at CFB Esquimalt’s dockyard and construct a new steel-and-concrete-pile A and B jetty facility in the same location. Due to the degraded functional and technical condition of the existing 70-plus-year-old structures, the recapitalization of these facilities has long been an infrastructure priority for the Royal Canadian Navy and the Department of National Defence.

Status: Completion by 2021.

Annacis Island WWTP Expansion, Delta (Greater Vancouver), BC – $252m

The Annacis Island Wastewater Treatment Plant treats about 175 billion litres of wastewater every year. Located in Delta at 1299 Derwent Way, the plant provides secondary treatment to wastewater for over 1 million residents in 14 municipalities.

Status: Construction complete by early 2021.

Annacis WWTP Outfall Pipe, Delta (Greater Vancouver), BC – $184m

Wastewater from the Annacis Island Wastewater Treatment Plant is released into the Fraser River through an outfall pipe once it has been treated. A new outfall location and diffuser system is being installed, which will involve constructing a tunnel approximately one-kilometre long from the plant to the river. The scope of works for the project consists of construction of two 40m-deep shafts (one at 15m diameter and one at 10m diameter) inside the WTP, construction of two 4.20m internal diameter segmentally lined tunnels (200m and 580m long), a river riser in the Fraser River, a 280m long, 2.5m diameter, diffuser buried in the Fraser River bottom, and a new water control structure.

Status: Construction complete by 2023.

Second Narrow Water Supply Tunnel, Greater Vancouver, BC – $267m

This project will construct a new water supply tunnel deep under Burrard Inlet, east of the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge between the district of North Vancouver and the city of Burnaby. The project includes the construction of seismic standard shafts, one on each side of Burrard Inlet, connected by a 1,100-metre tunnel.

Status: Construction complete by 2023.

South Surrey Interceptor Twinning, BC, $65m

Twinning of the South Surrey Interceptor which conveys sewage from the Fraser Valley into Annacis Island WWTP. The sewer line will connect to the trenchless segment on 153A Street and along 56th Avenue, where the sewer will tie into a junction chamber. The construction of the South Surrey Interceptor over No. 2 the past 20 years has demonstrated the design flexibility of using reinforced concrete pipe and the structural advantages of precast. The composite pipe with corrosion resistant liner will provide the long-term sewage conveyance solutions required for the extensive growth in the region.

Status: Completion by 2023.

Northshore WWTP, Greater Vancouver, BC – $700m P3

This greenfield secondary treatment plant will replace an existing primary treatment plant. Increased plant capacity will allow up to 320 million litres per day to be treated under storm conditions.

Status: Construction began in 2018 and will be complete by 2022.

Northshore Conveyance, Greater Vancouver, BC – $80m DB

Metro Vancouver awarded this contract to design and construct a pump station and related pipes to convey wastewater from the existing Lions Gate Wastewater Treatment Plant to the new North Shore Wastewater Treatment Plant that is currently under construction on West 1st Street between Pemberton Avenue and Philip Avenue.

Status: Completion by end of 2021.

Bonnybrook WWTP D Expansion, Calgary, AB – $400m

This project involves upgrades and expansion of the Bonnybrook WWTP in three phases.

Status: Construction started in 2017 and completion by 2022.

Keeyask Hydroelectric Dam, Manitoba – $8.7bn

This 695-megawatt hydroelectric generating station will produce an average of 4,400 gigawatt-hours of electricity each year. The scope of work includes rock excavation, concrete for the powerhouse and spillway, earthen structures, electrical and mechanical work, and the construction and removal of temporary cofferdams needed to manage the river flow during construction.

Status: Completion by 2021.

North End WWTP Biological Nutrient Removal Upgrade, Winnipeg, MB – $1.78bn

The implementation of a nutrient-removal process will require a major plant expansion and, given the age of the infrastructure and the complexity of phasing for the construction, several new facilities will be constructed. The overall project has be separated into three distinct capital projects:

  1. North End Sewage Treatment Plant Upgrades: Power Supply & Headworks Facilities – $408 million
  2. North End Sewage Treatment Plant Upgrades: Biosolids Facilities – $553 million
  3. North End Sewage Treatment Plant Upgrades: Nutrient Removal Facilities – $828 million

Status: Only the Power Supply has started construction. The second and third packages are yet to go to procurement.

Port Lands Flood Protection and Enabling Infrastructure, Toronto, ON – $1.25bn

This project encompasses the redevelopment of one of the largest portions of under-developed land in a major urban core in North America. Located along the shore of Lake Ontario southeast of Toronto’s downtown core, the project will include substantial soil remediation, a new mouth for the Don River, and critical infrastructure for flood resilience to unlock the 325-hectare site for residential and commercial development.

Status: Started in 2018. Completion by 2024.

York Durham Sewage System (YDSS) Forcemain Twinning, Greater Toronto Area, ON – $110m

This project involves construction of a 5.1-kilometre-long sewage pipe that will run parallel to an existing 36-year-old forcemain through the heart of Newmarket.

Status: Complete by Dec 2021.

Coxwell Bypass Tunnel, Toronto, ON – $400m

This 10.5-kilometre long, 6.3-metre wide tunnel will run west along Lakeshore Boulevard, east to the Don Roadway, north up the Don River Valley to the North Toronto Treatment Plant and east to the Coxwell Ravine Park where it will end.

Status: Construction began in 2018 and is expected to be completed in 2024.

Ashbridges Bay Outfall (ABPTO), Toronto, ON – $300m

A tunnel is being constructed that will carry treated water waste from the Ashbridges Bay WWTP back into Lake Ontario. Ashbridges Bay is the city’s largest and oldest water treatment plant. When complete, this project will replace the existing outfall built 70 years ago.

Status: Completion by 2021.

Muskrat Falls Hydroelectric Dam, NL – $12.7bn

This project involves construction of an 824-megawatt hydroelectric generating facility at Muskrat Falls on the lower Churchill River in Labrador, and more than 1,600 kilometres of associated transmission lines and infrastructure that will deliver electricity to Newfoundland and Labrador.

Status: Completion in early 2021.

Please get in touch at [email protected] if you notice any errors or omissions in this list of projects.

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As both a short-term and long-term economic strategy, Canada is set to welcome many more water infrastructure projects in the months and years to come. Expertise in major water infrastructure projects is in demand so get in touch with the Outpost Recruitment team to learn more about opportunities that suit your experience.

If you’re interested in working on any of these projects, get in touch with us by creating your profile with Outpost Recruitment.