Char Lake Pump Station and Signal Hill Water Treatment Plant

Located approximately 700 km north of the Arctic Circle, Resolute Bay is the second most northern community on the entire continent.

Originally built in the 1970s, the previous treatment facility had reached the end of its service life and was not meeting current water quality standards.

EXP provided full engineering services for the design and construction of the new intake, pump station and water treatment plant to service the Inuit Hamlet of Resolute Bay. The new treatment plant was designed to provide a “multi-barrier” approach consisting of two types of filtration and disinfection. While the treatment process itself is rather conventional, the overall design solution required several innovations to ensure the constant circulation and reheating of water.

The project included a new 720 L/min pump station with three intakes, three boilers and a backup power generator. Water is supplied to the treatment plant via 2.7 km of electrically heat-traced insulated HDPE pipe. The new treatment plant houses first-stage multi-media filters (gravel, sand and anthracite), second-stage cartridge filters, UV disinfection and new chlorination equipment.

The water supply is integrated with the Hamlet’s sewage collection system through a series of insulated piping and pre-engineered access vaults – referred to as a utilidor. Water in the utilidor must be continuously supplied, circulated, and heated to prevent pipes from freezing in the Arctic climate.

The continuous supply and circulation of water is achieved by three identical 10 HP circulation pumps (which also facilitate the backwash of the multimedia filters and supply a truck fill station). The supply to the utilidor is continuous on the pressurized side, while the recirculated return loop is monitored for chlorine residual and temperature, allowing for adjustments as necessary. In the event emergency flows are required, a diesel-powered fire pump provides 1,500 USGPM that, through a series of motorized valves, can be delivered to both the supply and return piping to ensure maximum flow is available anywhere in the utilidor network for firefighting.

Recognizing the severity of consequences if water stops flowing, significant redundancy was built into the treatment and distribution process including duplicate pumps, boilers, heat exchangers, and chlorine pumps. The end result is a very resilient system.

The new treatment plant was successfully commissioned, and now provides residents of Resolute Bay with a safe, clean and reliable source of drinking water.



Civil, Water Resources, Water + Wastewater

ACEC-New Brunswick, Engineering Excellence Award, 2022
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