Saint John: A New Water Network for an Old City

Saint John is the most populous city in the Canadian province of New Brunswick on the country's Atlantic coast, bordering the US state of Maine.

Content Dam Wwi Volume 32 Issue 4 St Johns Canada

Saint John is the most populous city in the Canadian province of New Brunswick on the country’s Atlantic coast, bordering the US state of Maine. It was founded in 1785, making it Canada’s oldest city. Saint John’s residents are extremely proud of their city and its 230 years of history - although this occasionally has a downside, such as a water network dating from 1837 and pipes originally installed in 1870.

Infrastructure for the 21st-century

Although the city’s public officials wanted to update its oldest pipelines (made of wood) in 2010, Saint John’s drinking water supply system needed something more comprehensive - in short, a complete change of its supply sources and distribution systems. ACCIONA will play an extremely important role in this initiative, called the Safe Clean Drinking Water Project (SCDWP), which as its name suggests has a clear objective.

The goal of the SCDWP is to guarantee high quality drinking water for Saint John’s 70,000 inhabitants. The project is divided into two different elements. On the one hand it requires construction of a drinking water plant and various control tanks, while also installing new pipelines and reconditioning existing ones.

On the technical side, the difficulties of working with such an old network are compounded by problems caused by the city’s climate, where temperatures often fall below -10°C during the winter months.

Content Dam Wwi Volume 32 Issue 4 St Johns Canada

The water treatment plant will have a capacity of 75,000 m3/day, with three 11,000 m3 tanks. The pipelines will vary in diameter, from 150 mm to 900 mm, and will be made from various materials. A total of 22 km of new pipelines will be laid and a further 10 km will be reconditioned.

The total budget for the project is C$217 million (€156 million), with works scheduled to begin in February 2016 and set to last 34 months.

ACCIONA is involved in two aspects of the SCDWP. The design and construction work for the new facilities will be equally split between ACCIONA Agua and ACCIONA Construcción, while ACCIONA Agua, together with a local partner, will be responsible for the operation and maintenance once the project has been completed.

Direct and indirect benefits for Canada’s oldest city

As with all major public infrastructure projects, the SCDWP will bring wealth to the region in the form of new employment, creating around 150 jobs, including engineers, administrators and assembly workers, although the indirect economic benefits for the community will be much greater.

Saint John’s residents had the opportunity to learn all about the project at the Open Days that ACCIONA organised in June last year. They now understand that when the works are completed in November 2018, the pride they feel of living in the country’s oldest city will be all the greater knowing they have the most modern drinking water network. The fact that the authorities of this Canadian city entrusted such an important project for their fellow countrymen to ACCIONA is indicative of the reputation that our company has built in this country.

www.acciona-agua.com

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