Wastewater operation takeover saving thousands, Sooke district staff says

District of Sooke will take over operation of waterwater facility on Oct. 1

A District of Sooke of decision to take over the management and operation of the municipality’s wastewater treatment centre is already saving thousands of dollars, councillors were told Monday night.

“We’re uncovering opportunities for savings on a regular basis. We are in line with what we projected,” said Teresa Sullivan, the district’s chief administrative officer.

“Things have been going incredibly smoothly.”

In March, the district decided to end its operating agreement with EPCOR, saying it could save up to $225,000 a year by assuming responsibility for the plant.

The Sooke wastewater collection and treatment system is owned by the district and operated by EPCOR, a subsidiary of the City of Edmonton. The system services the core area of Sooke.

The district spends approximately $1.15 million a year for wastewater treatment.

EPCOR built the wastewater treatment centre in 2004 under a design-build-operate contract. Its current five-year contract expires on Sept. 30.

Coun. Rick Kasper, council’s representative on the transition team, and municipal staff were lauded by Sullivan for their efforts.

“It appears we are on track with the projected annual cost savings that was calculated in March,” Kasper told council.

Among the savings, Kasper said, is that most of the supply contractors have agreed to continue to service the Sooke wastewater plant for the same costs as with EPCOR.

Sullivan pointed out a new centrifuge for the facility was expected to cost more than $300,000, but was repaired for $47,000 through the efforts of EPCOR’s Sean Pearson.

Both Pearson and Sooke’s new wastewater manager Dan Skidmore were lauded by Sullivan for their efforts.

The district takes over the operation of the facility on Oct. 1.