Town recieves $4.4M grant from FCM for new wastewater plant


By Joel Charron

Amherstburg’s new wastewater treatment plan received a financial boost form the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Saturday morning.

FCM board member and London city councilor Harold Usher announced the FCM was awarding Amherstburg with a $4.4 million grant to help with the construction of the wastewater plant.

The FCM’s grant comes from its “Green Municipal Fund” (GMF) and the GMF is funded through a $550 million endowment from the federal government.

The new wastewater plant will contain 23 percent fewer total suspended solids, have a 59 per cent lower five day carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demand, contain absolutely no residual chlorine and meet stringent limits set by the Ministry of the Environment (MoE) for ammonia, nitrogen, total phosphorus, E coli and pH.

The plant’s expanded capacity will reduce the number of bypass and overflow events that now discharge untreated effluent into the Detroit River.

Usher noted these improvements will also assist in meeting Canada and Ontario’s commitment to improved water quality in the Detroit River.

“FCM is proud to have invested $4.4 million in this plant,” stated Usher. “Together we are achieving great things, in the future we can achieve many more.”


The town received an FCM grant of $4.4 million to put towards the new wastewater treatment plant currently under construction. Accepting the cheque Saturday morning was (from left): Deputy Mayor Ron Sutherland, Essex MP Jeff Watson, Councillor Bob Pillon, Mayor Wayne Hurst, Councillor John Sutton, FCM board member Harold Usher, Councillor Diane Pouget and Councillor Bart DiPasquale.

Essex MP Jeff Watson took a trip down memory lane, recalling in 2005 when he and former Essex MPP Bruce Crozier both obtained $5.1 million in grant money for the plant.

Watson noted that the  Amherstburg wastewater plant is the lone primary sewage treatment plant on the Canadian side of the Great Lakes still in operation.

He also pointed out that the new plant will meet the communities need when it comes online in 2013 and beyond.

“This isn’t a quiet little town anymore,” said Watson. “It’s a town on the move. It meets the needs well into the future for our community. We are now on the cutting edge.”

The Edgewater plant and the Bob-Lo Island plants will be decommissioned once the new plant comes online.

Mayor Wayne Hurst stated the contribution of Crozier and Watson along with those of previous council are the ones who made the decision to move forward with the new wastewater plant.

“People get caught in expenditures but it’s an investment in our future,” said Hurst. “ The plant will benefit both humans and the environment for years to come.”

“We finally got to the point where we had the courage and wisdom to say ‘we are going to become better stewards of our environment’,” Hurst continued. “The success of any municipality is based on the ability to grow.”

Upgrades to the new plant will include improvements to the headworks, grit removal, screening, primary clarification and aeration systems. Plans also include the installation of bioreactor tanks with fine bubble diffusion and secondary clarifiers. Improvements are also planned to the dewatering system and the installation of an odor control system.

Construction is expected to be complete by the fall of 2013. During this time, the town will continue its Sewer Separation Project to reduce inflow and infiltration into the sewage treatment systems and will complete its Sewage Rate Study.

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