Award-winning project benefits from DCC expertise and experience

Wolf drinking near an installation in Alert, Nunavut. Source: Department of National Defence.

DCC played a number of important roles in an award-winning wastewater treatment project in Canada’s North.

The CFS Alert Wastewater Terraces project recently won the Engineering Award for Environmental Excellence from the Northwest Territories and Nunavut Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists.

The project, which began in 2010, involved constructing a terraced, overland flow system to treat wastewater at CFS Alert, Nunavut, which is the most northern, permanently inhabited location in the world. The system, which is also a demonstration project for other Arctic communities, discharges the treated water onto the land, such that a wetland has been created.

A team from DCC Trenton, Shilo and 1 Canadian Air Division in Winnipeg (Joel Fisher, Dan Heslinga, Cameron Chadwick, Dave Hunter and Shawn Helmerson) worked closely with the DND project manager and Royal Canadian Air Force Engineers in 1 Canadian Air Division to carry out this $1-million project within the short northern construction season and within budget.

Team members provided a variety of services for the project—everything from setting up consultant contracts to representing the Client-Partner on site during construction.

DCC also procured materials and ensured they, and the necessary personnel, arrived in Alert by military transport flights from Trenton. After construction was completed, DCC facilitated the transport of time-sensitive water samples for environmental testing. Samples were also delivered to researchers at a college in southern Ontario who were studying the system, since it is the most northerly example of its type in the world.

Finally, DCC’s experience in and knowledge of northern conditions as well as regular and open communications (and by having a DCC office co-located with the DND project group at 1 Canadian Air Division) helped ensure issues that arose were dealt with quickly—particularly getting the resources needed to carry out the work in a timely manner.

“DCC played a significant role at key times in this project,” says DND Project Manager Wanda Deong. “Without the support of DCC as part of the team, and without the additional efforts made by DCC staff, this project could not have met its objectives.”

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