The original WPCP was constructed in 1960 by the Department of National Defense (DND) to service CFB Petawawa. The plant was a primary wastewater treatment plant with an average design flow of 7,700 cubic metres per day. The plant was re-rated to 4,500 cubic metres per day when phosphorous removal facilities were added.
In 1970, an agreement was made between the Ontario Water Resources Commission (now the MOE) and DND to accept Village of Petawawa sewage at the plant.
The Village's sanitary sewage system was constructed in 1974-75 as an extension to those properties belonging to CFB. Components added to the system included a major trunk sewer, two sub area pumping stations and various gravity collector sewers.
In 1978, at the request of the Village, the MOE (now Ontario Clean Water Agency) agreed to operate the plant and sanitary collection system.
From 1981 to 1986, various plant modifications and improvements were made to the existing primary treatment plant. This included enhanced gas mixing and collection, upgrades to influent screening, grit removal, a new chlorine contact chamber, upgraded chemical dosing facilities for phosphorous removal, new sludge pumping equipment and improvements to existing buildings. DND contributed 75% to the cost of the project.
In 1988, the Government of Canada announced its intention to close some military bases across Canada and transfer personnel from London, Ontario to CFB Petawawa.
The MOE advised the Village of Petawawa in 1988 that sewage flows were exceeding the plant capacity and that unless steps were taken to alleviate the flows, no further development should take place in Petawawa.
In 1989, the Village of Petawawa retained JL Richards & Associates Limited to assess the plant capacity and, if feasible, to request approval to the MOE to re-rate the plant capacity from 4,500 cubic metres per day to 5,600 cubic metres per day. In January 1989 an application to re-rate the plant was submitted to the MOE.
In November 1989, the DND proposed that the Village assume of ownership of the plant and that DND would share in the cost of upgrading and expanding the plant.
In 1990, the Village of Petawawa retained Janota Patrick Engineering Consultants to provide engineering services for upgrading of the Village Waterworks. In 1991, the Village requested Janota Patrick to extend its services to include the upgrading of the Village's sewage works including expansion of the Water Pollution Control Plant. To assist with the transfer of the water pollution control plant from DND to the Village, Janota Patrick carried out a study which reported on the following:
- the anticipated population growth in the Petawawa area.
- the requirements to upgrade and expand the plant to accommodate the projected growth.
- the sharing of costs between the Village and DND to fund the proposed plant expansion.
A plant scale pilot project was undertaken in February 1991 for a period of 30 days to determine the plant's treatment performance at twice the normal flow. This was done by taking half of the plant out of operation.
In June 1991, approval was given by the MOE to re-rate the existing plant to 5,610 m3/day. This approval was given subject to the Village providing the MOE with a written commitment to proceed with the enlargement of the existing plant, including secondary treatment.
In August 1991, Council of the Village of Petawawa passed a resolution authorizing Janota Patrick Engineering Consultants along with JL Richards & Associates Limited to proceed with a Class Environmental Assessment Study to expand and upgrade the WPCP. This Class EA was initiated to expand hydraulic and organic loading capacity of the plant through the addition of secondary treatment and to address odour complaints through improvements to sludge handling facilities.
In October 1995 the EAR for the Class EA was placed on public record for a 30 day review period.
In 1996, detailed design of the WPCP expansion was undertaken by Janota Patrick & Associates Limited. and JL Richards & Associates Limited. Construction of the facilities was carried out in 1997/98 and the expanded plant was commissioned in 1998.