Pugwash Central Water Supply Update - January 28, 2019

It is easy to look at this project and wonder, how in the world it could be running behind schedule when cities and towns put in water system components everyday. The Pugwash Water System is unique because every component of the system had to be designed and installed from scratch. Normally, a municipality will only put in one part of an entire system, and often that part is a replacement for aging infrastructure. In this case, not so. You also must consider, every water system is completely different, based on the size of the system, environment the system is going into, and population served.


In Pugwash, the system is composed of a well field, transmission and distribution pipe, a reservoir and a treatment facility. Each of these components have been designed to work in conjunction with all other components. It is during the commissioning process, that is the testing phase of the project, that each individual part in every component is verified.

The commissioning process is one source of the current delay, there are components that have been presenting issues and contractors and municipal staff have been troubleshooting. Issues being worked on include malfunctioning equipment from a supplier which had to be sent back and replaced under warranty, and electronic communication between equipment.

The issues which are being worked out now are issues which need to be addressed for the long-term viability of the entire system.

Currently, the quality of the water in the treatment facility exceeds all the federal and provincial water drinking standards. There are problems with the aeration of the water. There is too much air in the water, which is primarily an aesthetic issue however it does present issues for probes and testing equipment. Air is vital to the treatment process, as the decision was made to use a biological treatment process rather than introducing a chemical process.

Every two weeks the contractors and project management group meet to discuss the status of the water system project and endeavour to move along as many project hurdles as possible. This involves project managers keeping contractors on track and contractors detailing what support they need from project management.

The next planned update to the status of the Pugwash Water System is planned for February 8th, after the next scheduled contractor and project management meeting.