Erin awards $4.4-million contract to WSP for next phase of wastewater treatment plant

ERIN – The Town of Erin continues to push ahead with its plan to construct a wastewater treatment plant to service the villages of Erin and Hillsburgh.

On April 6 council agreed with a staff recommendation and awarded the contract to WSP Canada Inc. to design the trunk sanitary sewers, pumping stations and infrastructure associated with the plant.

The $4.4-million contract includes preliminary engineering, detailed design, tendering, contract administration and on-site observation services for the first four segments of the trunk sewer system.

WSP Canada was also the successful candidate to design the wastewater treatment plant and outfall with a $1.5 million price tag. Council saw a presentation on the plant’s design on March 23 and the detailed design is nearing completion.

Nick Colucci, director of infrastructure services, said three companies bid on the trunk sanitary sewer contract and their proposals were evaluated by a team of town staff and three representatives from Ainley and Associates Inc., a consulting firm.

The proposals were awarded a score that considered the technical aspects of the design, timelines, cost, and ability to do the work, and WSP came out on top.

The scores were:

  • Accardi / Schaeffers & Associates Ltd.: cost $4,335,705; score 73.88;
  • The Municipal Infrastructure Group Ltd.: cost $4,738,204; score: 82.63; and
  • WSP Canada Inc.: cost $4,400,631; score: 83.90.

Joe Mullan, president and CEO of Ainley, said WSP presented the best plan, both technically and financially, and the decision to award the contract was fair and objective.

“It’s defendable, and not awarded just because they are doing work for the town today,” he said.

Funding for this project is included in the 2021 capital budget but will eventually be paid for by developers, town officials say.

According to Colucci’s report, “The funding for this work will be achieved by agreements with the developers to pay for the engineering fees related to the design and construction of the Wastewater Collection System so there is no financial impact to the Town and no taxpayer money will be utilized to fund this work.

“The expenditures of the project will be fully funded by the developers.”

However, the town will pick up the tab until the developers sign their agreements and cash starts to flow. Interest will be charged monthly to the project and will be based on the six-month GIC rate, the report states.

Erin resident Ken Cowling is opposed to the plant because he believes it will harm brook trout in the West Credit River, where treated effluent will be released.

Cowling is also opposed to the project because it is tied to growth, which he is also against. When he learned about the latest contract award, he gave a heavy sigh.

“This is the most aggressively pro-development council I’ve ever seen,” he said.

Cowling said he’s priced it out and believes it will cost homeowners $50,000 to hook up to the system and not the $6,800 estimate the town recently provided.

The town has applied for federal and provincial grants to bring that cost down, but no grants have been announced to date.

And once connected, there will be an ongoing sewage cost Cowling estimates will be $500 a year.

“If this abomination has to go in, and if the effluent is so pure, use it to irrigate farm fields,” he said. “Don’t kill the brook trout.”

His group is planning another car rally on April 24 – the first day of trout fishing – from noon to 3pm and it will operate similar to last time. There will be no horn honking due to a noise bylaw, and the event will proceed only if COVID restrictions allow, he said.

Details will be posted at

“The fishing groups are seeing the atrocity of this proposal,” Cowling said.

“I don’t know about the sewage plant, but maybe we can save the fish.”