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Monday, Apr 04, 2022

Upgrades to Burloak Water Purification Plant preserve long-term drinking water quality

Man installing equipment inside a plant

The Region of Halton’s Burloak Water Purification Plant in Oakville, Ontario provides drinking water for residents in Oakville, Burlington, Milton, and parts of Halton Hills. The 55 million litre per day membrane filtration plant uses a treatment process that includes flocculation, ultra-filtration (via membranes), ultraviolet irradiation, ozone for disinfection, taste and odour control, chlorination, and fluoridation. Inside the facility, there are four cast-in-place and epoxy-lined concrete membrane tanks, each fitted with six membrane cassettes. The Region has an existing contract with SUEZ Water Technologies & Solutions (now VEOLIA) to replace the original ZeeWeed membrane cassettes in all four tanks at the completion of their 10-year lifecycle in 2021. 

Associated’s role on the project included design and construction services for replacing the existing membranes, concrete tank linings, large diameter butterfly valves, as well as SCADA system upgrades. 

Men working in a construction plant

Project Manager, Austin Kanagasuriam advises, “Multiple factors impacted the project, including the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in the need to implement and follow greater safety protocols and construction management approaches to protect the safety of operators, construction staff, and visitors.” The pandemic also impacted the supply chain, creating challenges in ensuring product and materials from suppliers could be sourced and delivered in an efficient and timely manner.

The project was completed on time and on budget, despite the challenges of construction during the COVID-19 pandemic

The team worked collaboratively during construction to find and implement solutions to minimize the impact on facility operations and the community. To continue to deliver safe drinking water during construction, the project team coordinated production support from the Region’s, the contractor’s, and our team’s other Lake Ontario-based water purification plants well in advance of construction. This allowed the Burloak plant to remain fully off-line for the entire six-month construction period. The combined commitment to coordination and communication between the Region’s Operations teams were critical to maintaining water service at all facilities and minimizing any risk of disruptions.

Inside a water purificiation plant

During construction, a program of testing, sampling, training, and fine tuning was implemented by the Region’s Operations team to provide assurance of systems operations before each system was returned to a fully operating state.

The Region’s Operations team, supported by Associated, streamlined the original commissioning plan. Instead of commissioning all four membrane trains simultaneously, the team commissioned two membrane process trains first to achieve partial drinking water production, and thus satisfy system demands and other commitments. The remaining two membrane process trains were installed and commissioned later. 

The upgraded facility provides safe drinking water to residents for many years to come and meets the Region’s goals for an easy-to-operate-and-maintain system with low energy consumption requirements.