South Edmonton Sanitary Sewer (SESS) Line
The SESS is a system of deep sewer lines (called trunk lines) being built over several decades to provide new infrastructure that will store and carry wastewater from south Edmonton. A similar system is being built in north Edmonton (NESS).
Gold Bar already treats wastewater from south Edmonton today; the same wastewater that will be carried by the SESS system. The SESS system is expected to connect to Gold Bar around 2038. When it is connected in 2038 there will be no change in sewage volumes coming to Gold Bar; the same wastewater will arrive through a newer set of pipes. The NESS system is planned to connect to the Alberta Capital Region Wastewater Treatment Plant in Strathcona County near Fort Saskatchewan.
The Sanitary Servicing Strategy Fund (SSSF) Oversight Committee is responsible for deciding how sewage volumes are handled in the Edmonton Region.
In 2017, the SSSF Oversight Committee decided to route the SESS system to the Gold Bar Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP). The SSSF Oversight Committee is chaired by the City of Edmonton.
Sanitary flows from the City areas serviced by the SESS system are currently sent to Gold Bar Wastewater Treatment Plant through the existing sewer infrastructure. This has not increased the Gold Bar WWTP's impact on the surrounding area.
Deep underground tunneling to construct a better system after 2030
Construction of the SESS system is unlikely to impact the river valley or the Gold Bar community. Sanitary sewer trunk lines, such as the SESS, are built deep underground through tunneling, with limited impact to communities on the surface. There would be an excavation point at the start of the segment and at the end of the segment, a laydown area for equipment, and potentially an interim shaft along the way. No construction on the final portion of the system is expected until after 2030. At that time, there would be specific community consultation prior to construction to ensure we identify and reduce potential impacts.
EPCOR's latest long term plan for Gold Bar commits in writing to preserving river valley parkland and trails by
keeping Gold Bar’s operations within the current fenceline. Ongoing investment in the plant will continue to reduce odour and reduce the flaring of biogas.
Throughout the past six decades, the Gold Bar WWTP has been significantly updated and improved in order to provide service to the growing Edmonton population. At the same time, we've lowered the plant's impact on the environment and the community through new technology. We are committed to this and will minimize the operational impact of Gold Bar WWTP no matter the volume of flows received for treatment.