Significant progress has been made to date, with 10 ORAP projects already complete and all others underway.
A major achievement has been made towards one of ORAP’s objectives of limiting Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) through the implementation of Project 1: Real Time Control, with a reduction of over 80% in measured CSO volumes from 2006 to 2015.
The following 17 Projects form the Ottawa River Action Plan
Project 1: Implementation of Real Time Control - Complete
Real Time Control allows for continuous monitoring of pipe flows and automated control of equipment. This project upgraded three combined sewer flow regulators with Real Time Control systems that can remotely re-direct sewage and stormwater to the Robert O. Pickard Environmental Centre (ROPEC) for treatment during wet weather.
Real Time Control has reduced combined sewer overflows by approximately 80% between 2006 and 2015.
Project 2: Critical Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) and Storm Outfall Monitoring - Complete
This project installed sensors in the six largest combined sewer outfalls to measure the volume of incoming flow, captured flow, and over-flow. Data is communicated on a real-time basis to the central control centre and used to prioritize future projects.
Project 3: Combined Sewer Storage Tunnel for Ultimate Combined Sewer Area (UCSA)
The Combined Sewer Storage Tunnel will provide additional storage capacity to reduce overflow activity and then redirect stored wastewater to the Robert O. Pickard Environmental Centre (ROPEC) for treatment. The storage project will focus on combined sewer overflows within the UCSA. CSO storage facilities will lower the amount of contaminants released to the Ottawa River, improving the water quality and reducing the number of beach closures.
Project 4: Review and Implement Sewer Interconnection Program - Complete
Older sewers had interconnections between sanitary and storm sewers to prevent basement flooding. This review determined interconnections requiring readjustment or removal. As a result of this assessment, a flow diversion project was completed at the Alvin Heights CSO outfall to reduce overflow risk.
Project 5: Sewer Separation Outside the Ultimate Combined Sewer Area (UCSA)
Sewer separation is the replacement of a single sewer with two separate sanitary and storm water sewers. To date approximately 60% of the original combined sewer area has undergone sewer separation. Separation continues in all areas except the Ultimate Combined Sewer Area (UCSA). The largest areas yet to undergo sewer separation are West Rockcliffe, Manor Park, King Edward/Rideau, Old Ottawa East (Greenfield, Echo, Concord, Harvey), Somerset/Wellington, and NRC/RCAF (Federal Jurisdiction).
Project 6: Development of a Wet Weather Infrastructure Management Plan (WWIMP) - Complete
Periods of heavy rainfall impact city infrastructure, private property, public health and the environment. The WWIMP manages wet weather flows and mitigates the adverse effects on our wastewater and stormwater collection systems. Additional issues addressed in this plan included basement and surface flooding, environmental protection, system operation and maintenance, and capacity for intensification.
Project 7: Implementation of a Wet Weather Infrastructure Management Plan (WWIMP)
The WWIMP includes an implementation plan that aims to reduce the impacts of flooding and wet weather flows on public health, beaches, the environment, and personal property.
Project 8: Installation of Floatable Traps in Combined Sewer Area Catchbasins - Complete
A total of 3,200 floatables traps have been installed to capture floatables, as well as oil and grease before they enter the combined sewer system.
Project 9: Pinecrest Creek/Westboro Stormwater Management Retrofit Plan - Complete
The Pinecrest Creek/Westboro SWM Retrofit Plan seeks to decrease the impact of stormwater on Pinecrest Creek and the Ottawa River.
Project 10: Eastern Subwatersheds Stormwater Retrofit Plan
The Eastern Subwatershed Stormwater Retrofit Plan seeks to decrease the impact of stormwater on the Eastern Subwatersheds and the adjacent Ottawa River. Creeks found in the Eastern Subwatershed (Bilberry, Voyageur and Green's) experience increased flooding, erosion, and degraded water quality as a result of uncontrolled runoff.
Project 11: Implementation of Stormwater Management (SWM) Retrofit Plans
This program will implement and prioritize SWM Retrofit Plans. These projects will decrease the impacts of uncontrolled stormwater runoff on the urban area.
Project 12: R.O. Pickard Environmental Centre Effluent Dechlorination - Complete
Chlorine is used as the final disinfectant of treated wastewater prior to discharge to the Ottawa River from the Robert O. Pickard Environmental Centre (ROPEC). Regulations from the Ministry of the Environment state that residual chlorine concentration in treated wastewater must not exceed 0.02mg/L. A new dechlorination process was installed to meet these allowable concentrations, resulting in positive impacts to the flora and fauna downstream of ROPEC.
Project 13: Water Environment Strategy- Complete
The Water Environment Strategy (WES) was approved by Council in June 2016 and seeks to protect the health of the city’s waterways, wetlands and groundwater by reducing the impacts of human activity. A healthy water environment:
- Provides safe, abundant drinking water;
- supports agriculture, recreation and tourism;
- lessens the impact of flood events; and,
- helps sustain fish and wildlife.
Project 14: Monitoring and Source Control Programs
Project 15: Wastewater and Drainage Environmental Quality Management System - Complete
This project involved the design of an environmental management system to conform with the International ISO 14001 Standard, enabling the City to:
- Identify and control significant environmental impacts
- Continually improve its environmental performance
- Better set environmental objectives and targets
- Demonstrate achievement of its objectives and targets
Project 16: Updates to the Ottawa River Bacterial Water Quality Computer Model - Complete
The Ottawa River Bacterial Water Quality Model allows the City to:
- Understand current river response and behaviour
- Assess, measure and mitigate CSO and stormwater inputs
- Identify priorities
- Evaluate improvement strategies
This project established frequency of model updates and expanded the scope of monitored parameters beyond bacteria.
Project 17: Public Outreach and Education
Increase public awareness of ORAP initiatives and communicate residents’ relationship between their actions and the health of Ottawa’s water environment.