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Rehabilitation of Bailie Booster Pumping Station and Reservoir safeguards reliability of water supply in Halton Region

Halton Region is a growing municipality in southwestern Ontario, with a population of approximately 600,000. The Region provides high quality drinking water to residents and businesses, and maintains an active program to continuously improve its drinking water system. 

The Region’s Bailie Booster Pumping Station and Reservoir supply water to the Burlington area. As part of its asset management program, the Region retained Associated to upgrade and rehabilitate the pump station and reservoir. The pumping station upgrades include replacing the plumbing, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, booster pumps and piping/valving, chlorine storage and dosing system, motor control centre, standby power and electrical systems, instrumentation and supervisory control and data acquisition system, along with required structural rehabilitation.

The two-celled, underground, concrete reservoir has a storage capacity of 17.5 million litres. The top of the reservoir is grassed, creating a park like setting. Structural rehabilitation of the reservoir involves removing the existing grass surface and waterproofing system and installing a new hot applied rubberized asphalt waterproofing membrane system on the reservoir roof slabs. After membrane replacement, landscaping over the roof is reinstated. The main goal of the waterproofing replacement is to update the reservoir to meet new potable water storage guidelines and minimize the risk of contaminant infiltration. 

The site drainage design and sizing of the reservoir subdrain system considered climate change and anticipated increased frequency of and heavier precipitation events. More extreme seasonal temperatures and increase in relative humidity were considered in the design of the pump station heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system. All process piping will also be insulated to address expected increase in humidity.

Project Manager, Anna Comerton, tells us, “The upgrades to the pumping station must be staged to allow continued operation of the station, as it is an integral part of the Burlington water supply system and cannot be taken out of service for an extended period.” Interruption or reduction of service must be performed during low demand season to accommodate overall distribution system needs. Careful planning and communication with all stakeholders (e.g. Region Operations and contractor) are required, so that individual equipment is replaced and commissioned in a phased manner and minimizes any impact on operations. For example, we replaced one booster pump and associated piping/valving system at a time.

Similarly, replacing the main reservoir fill/draw header has been done in sections so that the period required for station shutdown is minimized (e.g. less than 24 hours) and occurs during low demand season when an alternate station can handle the demand.

Residences surround the project site on three sides in this quiet neighbourhood. Construction was planned to restrict working hours, mitigate noise and dust, identify location of soil stockpiling, provide privacy screening, limit the number and location of construction vehicles, and prohibit idling trucks on residential streets. The Region also has a project ambassador assisting with communicating updates to the community and addressing questions.

Halton Region engaged Associated Engineering in 2018 to complete preliminary and detailed design and tender the rehabilitation works. Construction began in Spring 2021. The upgrades to the pumping station are in progress and are expected to be completed by early 2023. Cell 1 waterproofing was completed in the Fall 2021, and Cell 2 waterproofing is now in progress. Outside works are anticipated to be completed by Fall 2022.

Key personnel involved on this project include Anna Comerton, Joanne Verstegen, Carlos Baez, Roman Gluzman, Roy Gong, Azad Khamforoush, David Holyer, and Behnood Salehi.

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