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Barrhaven pump station emergency power project

Project Status: 
Planned

Class Environmental Assessment Study

Introduction

Problem Definition

The City of Ottawa has initiated a Class Environmental Assessment for the Barrhaven Pump Station Emergency Power Project. The main objective of the study is to identify a preferred alternative for emergency power upgrades for drinking water facilities that currently serve the Barrhaven area. Emergency power upgrades will include an emergency power generator, fuel storage and electrical controls.

Purpose

A Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (Class EA) is being undertaken to provide an emergency power generator and fuel system to serve the Barrhaven Water Pressure Zone (Zone Barr). These improvements could be provided at either the Barrhaven Pump Station or the Barrhaven Reservoir and Valve House.
This objective of this Class EA is to evaluate possible locations for installation of the emergency generator systems and to select one of the two facilities.

Study Area

There are two sites being considered (refer to Figure 1 [ PDF - 516 KB ]):

  • Barrhaven Pump Station (BPS) located at the intersection of Holitman and Foxfield Drives
  • Barrhaven Reservoir and Valve House (BRVH) located on Fallowfield Drive at the intersection with Larkin

The study areas at the two sites are limited to the boundaries of the pump station properties, both owned by the City of Ottawa. The BRVH borders National Capital Commission (NCC) property in the Greenbelt.

Background 

An emergency power upgrade is required to maintain in service water pumps that serve the Zone Barr pressure zone in addition to essential building loads such as lighting, ventilation and controls should there be a power outage.
The preliminary generator size is expected to be no greater than 175 kW. Diesel fuel and natural gas are being considered. Fuel storage for the diesel option would be required for 24 hours of operation.
The generator will be required to meet the Ministry of Environment noise regulations. The generator will include noise attenuation features such as exhaust silencers and noise enclosures (for an outdoor generator).
The emergency power, regardless of location, would only be utilized during emergency conditions and for periodic maintenance/testing.

Development of Alternatives

Three alternatives are being considered:

  • Alternative A – Provide emergency power at the BPS, in an existing space on the ground floor level
  • Alternative B – Provide emergency power at the BPS, at an outdoor location
  • Alternative C – Provide emergency power at the BRVH, at an outdoor location

Alternative A – Barrhaven Pump Station, Indoors

In this alternative, an emergency generator would be installed inside the BPS under the control room.

Advantages

  • Minimal visual impact for neighbouring properties
  • Indoor access for maintenance

Disadvantages 

  • Space constraints
  • Relocate existing equipment
  • Additional diesel fuel storage (if natural gas is selected, no storage is required)
  • Need to integrate with the existing standby power and control system

Alternative B – Barrhaven Pump Station, Outdoors

In this alternative, an emergency generator would be located outdoors and would be skid mounted on a concrete pad. Refer to Figure 2 [ PDF - 104 KB ].

Advantages

  • Self-contained, including a weather/noise enclosure, controls, engine, 24-hour fuel storage tank and exhaust silencer
  • Minimal construction impact and integration with the existing facility
  • Ample space around the unit for maintenance

Disadvantages

  • Generator enclosure would be visible outside
  • Need for maintenance under variable weather conditions

Alternative C – Barrhaven Reservoir and Valve House, Outdoors

In alternative C, an outdoor skid-mounted emergency generator would be located at the BRVH. Refer to Figure 3 [ PDF - 100 KB ].

Advantages

  • The site is fenced and located further away from residential properties than the BPS location, thereby minimizing visual disruptions
  • Shutdown of the BRVH is easily achievable to allow installation of the generator (the BPS can currently meet water demand with BRVH out of operation)
  • In the future, the BRVH will be able to provide backup power to supply water during future construction at the BPS, thereby facilitating the proposed upgrades at the BPS
  • Generator skid is self-contained, including a weather/noise enclosure, controls, engine, 24-hour fuel storage tank and exhaust silencer
  • Minimal construction impact and integration with the existing facility
  • Ample space around the unit for maintenance
  • Multiple locations available on the site

Disadvantages

  • Generator enclosure would be visible outside
  • Need for maintenance under variable weather conditions

Evaluation of Alternatives

Evaluation Criteria and Scoring

Tables below provide the criteria and scoring used to evaluate the alternative solutions. The four major categories of criteria included:

  • Technical (Implementation and Operation)
  • Social Environment
  • Natural Environment
  • Economic

It is recommended that high level scorings for each criterion be used, such as “Excellent”, “Good” and “Below Average”. The most favourable alternative would be that with the most “Excellent” scores. 

Technical (Implementation and Operation)

Evaluation Criteria for Preferred Emergency Power Location

Criterion BPS Indoor Alternative A scoring BPS Outdoor Alternative B scoring BRVH Outdoor Alternative C scoring Comments on Ratings
Ease of integration with existing systems B G G Indoor installation at BPS will require more extensive rework to existing piping and wiring within the pump station, including relocation of existing diesel fuel system components, relative to the other alternatives.
Compatibility with South Urban Community (SUC) PS upgrade phasing plan, including phasing of construction works G G E Construction at the BRVH would improve construction phasing for upgrades at the BPS, i.e. the backup power would be in place at BRVH, allowing a longer shutdown to complete more complicated upgrades required at BPS without as much schedule pressure.
Ability to support water system redundancy (i.e. backup water should one station supplying Zone Barr be out of service) G G E BRVH will house the main duty pumps for the Zone Barr pressure system, therefore this has a slight advantage for receiving emergency power, although BPS is still an acceptable location with the backup pumps.
Potential conflict with existing/future infrastructure B G E Indoor installation at BPS will be most complicated, and would take up space that could potentially be used for future equipment and maintenance space. Outdoor installations at BPS would be more difficult with site grading and existing space available/access than outdoor installation at BRVH. Installation at BRVH has a number of options, although future piping and standpipe installation must be considered in site selection.
Ability to meet regulatory approvals/requirements B G G TSSA requirements for standby power (diesel or natural gas) will be required for all alternatives. The indoor location with separate fuel tank/day tank and pumps at BPS will be more complicated and onerous for approvals over outdoor/integrated fuel tank options. All alternatives will require TSSA review, and a requirement to meet noise levels per MOE.
Maintainability G G G Although an indoor location at BPS would allow for easier maintenance relative to weather conditions, available space may lessen the access space available. The outdoor locations allow for compact installations with all components included in a skid package, with ample space around the equipment for maintenance. City Operations staff have indicated maintaining outdoor units is quite straightforward.
Ease of operation/accessibility G E E The indoor unit, if diesel – would have additional components such as fuel storage tanks, fuel pumps, etc. that will require more operations time, training, etc. The outdoor installations are “all in one” units, with less separate components, although will still require regular maintenance. Outdoor units will be slightly easier to pull up maintenance vehicles and fuel trucks to.

Note: * E = excellent, G = good or average, B = below average

Social Environment

Evaluation Criteria for Preferred Emergency Power Location

Criterion BPS Indoor Alternative A scoring BPS Outdoor Alternative B scoring BRVH Outdoor Alternative C scoring Comments on Ratings
Potential impact on archaeological resources E E E None of the sites are identified as having archaeological potential upon review of local mapping.
Construction duration G E E The indoor location would be more complicated for installation and would require a longer time period.
Compatibility with local land uses G G E The sites are currently operating City of Ottawa pumping station facilities. However, the BPS is closer to residential/recreational areas, and thus the potential for more disturbance exists.
Potential permanent visual impacts E B G The indoor site has the least visual impact; however, the exterior sites can be landscaped to provide minimal visual impact. The outdoor site at BRVH has less potential for impact to residential neighbours as it is further from residents and further from the road. Landscaping features would be more significant at the BRVH site due to the proximity to NCC Greenbelt property, but would likely be limited to screening and consideration of diversity of tree species (to be further considered during detailed design by a landscape architect).
Health and Safety (Community and Occupational) G G G None of the alternatives provides significantly more H&S risk to the community or workers, as compared to regularly operating City infrastructure.

Note: * E = excellent, G = good or average, B = below average

Natural Environment

Evaluation Criteria for Preferred Emergency Power Location

Criterion BPS Indoor Alternative A scoring BPS Outdoor Alternative B scoring BRVH Outdoor Alternative C scoring Comments on Ratings
Water quality and aquatic systems G G G All options would be expected to meet current fuel storage regulatory requirements, including containment. There are no nearby natural water features at either site.
Terrestrial systems/biology E G G Both sites are considered urban sites, with local landscaping features including grass and trees. No significant impacts to local terrestrial systems are expected at either site.
Air quality G G G All installations would be required to meet regulatory requirements for emissions.
Noise E G G All systems will be required to meet noise requirements per MOE. The indoor generator option would require noise attenuation inside the pump station for worker health and safety. The outdoor unit would be specified with a noise enclosure to achieve noise reduction as required. All alternatives involve running ONLY during emergency conditions and for regular maintenance/testing, not for normal operating times.

Note: * E = excellent, G = good or average, B = below average

Economic

Evaluation Criteria for Preferred Emergency Power Location

Criterion BPS Indoor Alternative A scoring BPS Outdoor Alternative B scoring BRVH Outdoor Alternative C scoring Comments on Ratings
Capital Cost B G G The indoor installation would require higher capital costs due to the reworking of existing interior equipment, and the more complicated system components (fuel tanks, pumps, etc.). The outdoor systems will be skid mounted on an exterior concrete pad, and will require power/control wiring runs in trenches to the interior of the buildings.
O&M Costs B G G O&M costs for the same size generator are expected to be similar for the generator itself, however the indoor unit may have higher maintenance costs due to the larger number of system components/complexity of the installation.
Added SUC PS upgrade phasing costs G G E The installation of emergency power at the BRVH will mean that BPS can be taken offline with less consideration for providing temporary power/operation of BPS. Short term water supply requirements can be met through use of the BRVH while construction takes place at BPS.

Note: * E = excellent, G = good or average, B = below average

Total Scores

Evaluation Criteria for Preferred Emergency Power Location

  BPS Indoor Alternative A scoring BPS Outdoor Alternative B scoring BRVH Outdoor Alternative C scoring Comments on Ratings
Total Scores* E = 4
G = 10
B = 5
E = 3
G = 15
B =1
E = 8
G = 11
B =0
Alternative C has the highest ratings, following by Alternative B, with Alternative A having the lowest ratings.

Note: * E = excellent, G = good or average, B = below average

Selection of Preferred Alternative and Project Impact Mitigation

Selection of Preferred Alternative

The recommended preferred alternative is Alternative C (outdoor generator located at the BRVH) based on the highest scoring in the above Table. 

Potential Impacts of Preferred Alternative

Archaeological
  • The City of Ottawa’s archeological potential database shows that there is no archeological potential identified for the BPS or BRVH sites
Natural Environment
  • A natural environment field investigation was undertaken to determine the presence two threatened species (Butternut trees and barn swallows)
  • Neither species was found at either site

Other Impacts

  • Visual impact of outdoor generator on surrounding properties
  • Traffic and noise impacts during construction
  • Excavation sediment in stormwater runoff
  • Noise impact from operation of the emergency generator (this is expected to be minimal as the generator enclosure for outdoor installation will be designed to meet Ministry of Environment noise regulations) 

Mitigation of Potential Impacts 

Mitigation for the above noted impacts can be achieved through appropriate specifications for use during construction, and through engineering design of the generator and associated systems.
The following would be suggested methods of achieving mitigation:

During Construction:

  • Appropriate signage for truck entrances and traffic flagging
  • Construction noise will be kept within bylaw limits.
  • Sediment control to contain eroded material on-site
  • Any potential archeological artifacts will be immediately reported to the City of Ottawa for action if needed
  • While no barn swallows were noted on site, it would be prudent to consider timing of construction outside of the nesting season

During Operation:

  • Minimize potential visual impacts by landscaping to screen the generator from neighbouring properties
  • Minimize generator noise by installing a noise enclosure to meet Ministry of Environment noise regulations
  • Minimize generator noise by infrequent use of the generator (the generator will be utilized only during emergency situations and periodic maintenance testing)
  • Generator exhaust will be specified to meet Ministry of Environment air quality limits
  • Fuel delivery to the generator will be by a certified supplier that is required to meet all applicable environmental and safety regulations

Project Implementation

The implementation of the preferred alternative solution will be carried out in a future design assignment, involving upgrades to both the BPS, the BRVH, and to the Ottawa South Pump Station. This assignment is expected to commence in 2013, and will include the design for the recommended standby generator location. 

Tell us what you think!

We are interested in hearing about your overall impression of the project, as well as what you think about our plans for impact mitigation. Please send your comments by November 25 to:

Chris Rogers, P. Eng.
Senior Project Engineer
110 Laurier Avenue West, 4th Floor
Ottawa ON K1P 1J1
Phone: 613-580-2424, ext. 27785
Fax: 613-580-2578
E-mail: christopher.rogers@ottawa.ca

Notice of Completion

Class Environmental Assessment Report Available for Review 

The City of Ottawa has completed a Class Environmental Assessment (Class EA) study for the Barrhaven Pump Station Emergency Power Project. This project is needed to upgrade existing emergency power systems and improve the reliability of water supply to the Barrhaven area. This project has been planned as Schedule 'B' projects under the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment document (2007). The purpose of the Class EA study was to confirm project need and justification, document existing environmental conditions, examine alternatives and potential impacts, and recommend a preferred emergency power solution.

A summary of the study is available at ottawa.ca/barrhavenpumpstation. Copies of the Barrhaven Pump Station Emergency Power Class Environmental Assessment are available for review at the following locations:

City Hall Client Service Centre 
110 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, ON K1P 1J1
613-580-2400

Ottawa Public Library, Nepean Centrepointe Branch
101 Centrepointe Drive
Ottawa, ON K2G 5K7
613-580-2710

Ottawa Public Library, Ruth E. Dickenson Branch
100 Malvern Drive
Ottawa, ON K2J 2G5
613-580-2796

The 30-day public review for this project begins on April 5, 2013. Written concerns or comments may be submitted within 30 calendar days from the date of this notice to:

Chris Rogers, M.A.Sc., P. Eng.
Senior Project Engineer
Planning and Growth Management Department
City of Ottawa
110 Laurier Avenue West, 4th Floor
Ottawa, ON K1P 1J1
613-580-2424 ext. 27785
E-mail: Christopher.Rogers@Ottawa.ca

If concerns regarding this project cannot be resolved in discussion with the City of Ottawa, a person/party may request that the Minister of the Environment make an order for the project to comply with Part II of the Environmental Assessment Act (referred to as a Part II Order). This request must be received by the Minister at the address noted below, by May 7, 2013. A copy of the request should also be sent to the City of Ottawa at the above address. If there are no requests received by May 7, 2013, the project will proceed to design and construction as presented in the Class EA study.

Ministry of the Environment
The Honourable Jim Bradley
77 Wellesley Street West, 11th Floor, Ferguson Block
Toronto, ON, M7A 2T5
416-314-6790
Fax: 416-314-7337

With the exception of personal information, all comments will become part of the public record.

This notice first issued on April 5, 2013.