The Brief

Effective plans are born of robust dialogue. We worked with the City of Sudbury to carry out an extensive master planning process that would feed into a go-forward strategy for the area’s nine wastewater treatment plans, and the waste-activated sludge those facilities produce.

Project Overview

Master planning through masterful collaboration

The way cities manage wastewater by-products can make or break the way citizens experience a neighbourhood. When the City of Sudbury brought us on side to develop a master plan for the treatment of waste-activated sludge, we understood: stakeholder engagement would determine the success of our project.

Meaningful collaboration is only possible when we deliberately foster transparent conversations. In Sudbury, we created a truly open forum where all stakeholders could have a voice, and share their insight. From public meetings and alternative planning solutions to biosolid treatment technology reviews, costing and technical evaluations, and a major environmental impacts assessment: we brought together high-level understanding with local perspective. This formed the basis of our recommendations.

Bottom line? The historic haulage of waste-activated sludge was creating unpleasant odours. This was generating sustained complaints stemming from the transfer process between the wastewater treatment station where it was pumped to tailing ponds.

Going forward, we enabled the City with a sustainable, 25-year plan for handling and disposing the sludge generated by the plants. Layering rich local insight into every recommendation made, we proposed eliminating the tailing-pond disposal of sludge all together. We proposed a new way forward. One that would reduce haulage, proactively manage the small and incorporate a proven stabilization process. This didn’t only help the City improve reliability and costs. It also renewed stakeholder relationships and citizen relations right across the city.