Cornwall’s atypical smell of success

The sign on Montreal Rd. at the entrance to the waste water treatment plant. Dignitaries cut the ribbon on the new secondary plant on Nov. 28, 2014. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – With a hint of a port-a-potty-like smell, Mayor Bob Kilger joked that he had “personally picked this location “ for his last news conference – deep in the bowels of a new secondary waste water treatment plant.

Kilger was among provincial and federal dignitaries for the official ribbon cutting Friday afternoon on the $55.5 million plant on Montreal Road – billed as the largest infrastructure project in the city’s history.

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The plant was paid for through matching funds from the provincial and federal governments ($18.5 million Ontario, $18.5 million Ottawa, $18.5 million City of Cornwall).

Environmental Services Manager Morris McCormick told Cornwall Newswatch the plant has been online since August and processes roughly 45,000 cubic meters of sewage a day.

McCormick says the sewage is being treated to a higher level than the existing plant, leading to cleaner waste water being flushed into the St. Lawrence River.

Until last year, Cornwall was the last community in the province of Ontario to not have secondary treatment for waste water.

Roughly 60 people were at the ribbon cutting ceremony, including a delegation from Paris, France, who came to see their product in action.

Behind this wall is one of the six filtration systems for Cornwall's secondary waste water treatment. It uses a technology developed in France. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)
Behind this wall is one of the six filtration systems for Cornwall’s secondary waste water treatment. It uses a technology developed in France. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)

Veolia’s Biostyr design is a series of styrene balls that float in the waste water and grow bacteria, which consumes the waste and cleans the water.

Three of the filters where the secondary treatment of waste water takes place. The plant was officially opened during a ribbon cutting ceremony Nov. 28, 2014. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)
Three of the filters where the secondary treatment of waste water takes place. The plant was officially opened during a ribbon cutting ceremony Nov. 28, 2014. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)
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