Good-Neighbor Policy Drives Water Project
Airport Road Reservoir and Pumping Station will help
meet regions burgeoning water needs.
(Photo courtesy of Kenaidan Contracting Ltd.)
The population in the Greater Toronto
Area is exploding. The birth rate is increasing and people
are flooding into the attractive metropolitan area from other
parts of Canada and outside North America. The population
may soon double and all of those people will need clean water.
To meet this surging demand, the Southern
Ontario Regional Municipalities of Peel and York, surrounding
the city of Toronto, formed a unique arrangement that has
Peel building infrastructure to provide water for York. They
did it by creating the fast-track, design-build Airport Road
Reservoir and Pumping Station in the city of Brampton to make
sure water flows into everyones taps.
As a November completion date looms,
the design-build team of Kenaidan Contracting Ltd., Mississauga,
Ont., and its design subcontractor, MacViro Consultants, Markham,
Ont., are on time and on budget with a $28 million, 9.2-million-gallon,
four-cell reservoir and 338-ft by 131-ft pumping station that
will provide Peel and York with over 100,000 gallons of fresh
water a day. The work also includes a surge tank and fuel
The rush is justified by the numbers
facing regional planners. York Region had a population
of 610,000 in 1996 and has a projected population of 1,345,000
in 2028, says a Labor and Demographics Branch official
in the Ontario Ministry of Finance. The Region of Peel had
879,000 people in 1996 and will have 1,693,000 in 2028. Yorks
current population is 852,000 and Peel has 1,123,000 people.
Team was challenged
by large suction headers and multi-zone discharge headers
in large pumping station. (Photo
courtesy of Peel, Water & Wastewater Treatment)
The Region of Peel gets its water from
Lake Ontario where it is treated lakeside and pumped to reservoirs.
The Airport Road Reservoir was in its master plan, but the
transmission line to York was new. We entered into the
agreement to benefit from their infrastructure and to provide
us with a second water supply partner. Our first supplier
is from Toronto, says Ilmar Simanovskis, York manager
of water resources planning. We are essentially land
locked. Lake Simpcoe provides water to the north region while
smaller communities are serviced by ground water. We felt
it was prudent to have a second partner."
Under a 2001 agreement, York will receive
water from Peels water treatment facilities from 2005
to 2031. York will pay a total of $52.4 million to Peel to
purchase surplus capacity from the Lakeview Water Treatment
Plant and feeder mains beyond what is required to meet system
requirements for Peel. The two municipalities are sharing
the cost of the Airport Road Reservoir 50:50, with Peel taking
the active role of project owner.
This is the first design-build project
for Peel, but it is an experienced owner and it sped into
action after inking the agreement. "We put together prequalification
documents by mid-2002," says Anthony Parente, manager
of capital works for Peel Water & Wastewater Treatment.
"Then we started developing our contractor document and
by July 2003 we awarded the contract and commenced construction
in late 2003." The request for proposals also served
as a detailed set of project requirements. "Some people
might say that [the level of detail in the RFP] did not allow
for much flexibility," Parente says. "But we believe
we were able to keep our standards for pumping equipment and
generators, etcetera and then say, Now you guys make
The detail paid off. Kenaidan and MacViro
performed a lot of facility construction planning while the
project was still in the design phase. "We met with the
owner to understand its intents and concerns for the waterbeyond
the RFP," says Gian Fortuna, Kenaidan project director.
"We wanted to understand why they were building this
and who the users were. The owner is an experienced builder
and it was helpful in providing the info." In fact, the
specifications were so tight and the understanding between
the partners so clear that there have been only nine owner-driven
change orders nine months into the project, says Mani Ruprai,
project manager for KMK Consultants, Brampton, Ont., and the
owners representative. "The owner really got what
"We worked from November backwards
and we knew what we had to have in place," says Fortuna,
"We went through an understanding of the pipeline and
loads and we were able to develop pump curves and worked from
there to building the facility." Ruprai also credits
the design-build team with creatively managing the schedule.
"There are two thousand pieces of equipment, including
a generator and other pieces with long delivery times,"
he says. "The design had to get done fast to get the
"It was quite a feat," Fortuna
says of the schedule. "Jeff [Radley, project manager
and the hydraulic mechanical engineer with MacViro] pulled
together a design in a few months that should have taken a
year and a half." Radley says there were a few things
about the owner requirements that were unusual, making the
speed of design even more amazing. "It is unusual in
a facility of this type to have three zones for water discharge,"
he says. That means that the water leaving the reservoir goes
to three places. The York line will get 100,000 gallons of
water and the two Peel lines 31,000 and 33,000 gallons each.
York also has an 18-mile-long transmission line.
For the incoming water, carried in a
suction header, Peel decided it wanted redundancy to avoid
a problem it encountered at a different pumping station. Radley
needed to design two headers. "This changes the station
design," he says. The suction headers are 72 in. dia
and the discharge headers are 42 in. dia and 36 in. for Peel
and 72 in. for York.
The process water pipe in the pumping
station also proved a challenge. The steel pipes are not off-the-shelf
items so the team had to figure out the most efficient way
to manufacture and install them. "We did research about
coating the size of pipe we were using," says Fortuna.
"We selected a zinc primer, an epoxy top coat and a final
finish of polyurethane, which gives it color and toughness.
We chose to do the coating in the shop to have control over
the process," he says. To facilitate handling these 24-in.
to 72-in.-dia cement mortar-lined pipes, the team decided
to apply the cement in the field. "We choose to do this
because of weight reasons and handling," he says. "Without
the cement, the pipes are much easier to handle."
Team decisions about how to handle the
thousands of pieces of equipment, including the pipes, a 3-MW
generator and the pumping station equipment, were crucial
to meeting the relentless schedule. One major decision affected
the schedule significantly. The team decided to complete most
of the pumping station building in time to accept all the
equipment. "Then, using tower cranes, we dropped all
the equipment inside and only then put a roof on," says
Fortuna. "As it turned out, this worked out well because
it took the pressure off of us having to build the pumping
station in the winter." While the roof was off the building,
the team also dropped a 7.5-ton bridge crane in so workers
could easily move the equipment around.
and pumps will control water flow from the 9.2-million-gallon,
four-cell, underground reservoir. (Photo
courtesy of Peel, Water & Wastewater Treatment)
The two tower cranes also let the team
ignore snow on the ground during the critical months. "The
tower cranes allowed us to work though the winter without
having to clear roads for mobile cranes," Fortuna says.
And the cranes added to the owners confidence. "The
contractor went at the project gung-ho," says Parente.
"He reached 90% of the site with the tower cranes. We
are not used to seeing that kind of hardware on a project
Experienced specialty contractors also
made a difference. "Having everyone at the table, the
biggest advantage in design-build, someone is going to tell
you if something is feasible or not because they are a participant
on the team," says Parente. "I would insist that
our subs be present. We needed them to advance the schedule."
And having everyone meet together helped solve the problem
of controlling the temperature while pouring 15,000 cu m of
concrete during winter. "We ended up with a checkerboard
of concrete mix design," explains Radley. They used 10
mixes that were appropriate for different temperatures and
for different parts of the reservoir. "We solved the
problem of controlling the temperature with a series of answers
that covered a series of conditions," he says. The team
tested the reservoir and found only two places where there
was water seepage in the concrete, confirming the checkerboard
The team also used its collective ingenuity
when steel prices made steel grating for the suction heads
prohibitive. They went with fiberglass instead, 900 sq m of
it, which is normally more expensive than steel. "This
turns out to be even better than steel," says Fortuna.
"Its lighter to lift." It also is chemically
inert and does not have to be galvanized to prevent corrosion.
How does a first time design-build
user view it? "We needed design-build," says Parente.
"Were paying about a 20% premium for schedule and
quality and we have a good contractorvery progressive
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