Project Spotlight: Electrical Upgrades at Rosehill Water Treatment Plant

Rental switchboard for temporary power supply scheme during construction

Supplied by raw water from Lake Erie, Rosehill Water Treatment Plant (WTP) is a conventional surface water treatment plant with a rated capacity of 579 L/s that services a population of over 30,000 residents in Fort Erie. Partnering closely with Niagara Region, RVA provided holistic upgrades to Rosehill WTP to extend its long-term service and performance by making strategic improvements to major systems throughout the facility.

A major component of the project involved comprehensive upgrades to the plant’s existing electrical systems, which entailed the replacement of the existing substation and multiple motor control centres (MCCs), as well as the installation of primary pole-mounted hydro metering, a 2.5/3MVA 34.5kV-600V tamper-proof main transformer, an outdoor E-house with secondary 600V/3000A switchgear, an indoor 600V/1600A switchboard, and 600V/1600A outdoor cable-bus feeder system.

Niagara Region’s Water-Wastewater Services has long maintained a steadfast commitment to operational excellence, and RVA’s approach to the improvements at Rosehill Water Treatment Plant was no different. The RVA team developed a detailed, integrated switchover plan that fast-tracked project delivery and kept the plant operational with minimal disruptions during construction. With the new upgrades at Rosehill Water Treatment Plant, we are proud to say that Niagara Region has set the gold standard for high-quality, safe, and reliable drinking water across Ontario, and will continue to do so for many years to come.”

John Brunet, Associate Director
Water Operations and Maintenance

Key to the success of the project was a detailed planning and phasing plan conducted by RVA’s Electrical team to keep the facility operational throughout construction. To achieve this, our team first developed a list of critical electrical and process equipment in consultation with plant operation staff and leveraged existing equipment to facilitate new installations. We installed a temporary 600V switchboard and relocated the existing starters and VFDs in the electrical room to accommodate the installation of a new switchboard, MCCs, and free-standing soft-starters. We also used temporary power cabling and a rental generator when switching the feeder cables from the existing substation to the new substation. Finally, we maximized the open space of the property to construct a new outdoor substation and secondary switchgear adjacent to the existing substation, and installed a cable-bus feeder system on the exterior of the building during the transition to the new power feed. These were more than just space-saving measures, however: by avoiding conflict with existing utilities, we effectively expedited the speed of installation and minimized costs in downtime.

Upgrading a plant like this required constant innovation and stakeholder engagement to solve the many challenges that arose due to the existing state of the facility and inherent space restrictions. Through careful installation sequencing, our team was able to reconfigure the electrical systems across the facility to maximize plant uptime, providing cost savings and improving energy resiliency. The summation of our work has transformed Rosehill WTP into a model of efficiency and sustainability that has set new standards for high-quality drinking water across the Region, eventually earning Niagara the honour of “best tasting tap water” in Ontario for 2023.