An agreement to handle pre-treated hydrostatic test water that the operator of a high-pressure petroleum pipeline made earlier this year with the city of Sarnia will bring in at least $1 million and as much as $1.3 million, depending on the volume of water Enbridge Pipelines Inc. delivers to the municipal treatment plant.
Under the terms of an agreement approved by City Council on June 25, 2012, Enbridge will pay Sarnia a "fee for service" of $13 per cubic metre for what could be as much as 100,000 cubic metres (a cubic metre equals nearly 220 Imperial gallons).
Enbridge tests its pipelines before bringing the lines into service, typically at pressures as much as three times the operating pressure. According to the city agreement, the line tested is one that runs from Wisconsin to Sarnia.
In the proposal approved by City Council, city staff proposed that the funds received be placed into the sewer infrastructure renewal reserve for future infrastructure upgrades.
Enbridge, which is treating the test water to conform to pre-established quality criteria, began sending the water to the city from the company's Plank Road facility last Friday, said City Engineer Andre Morin.
Morin said under the terms of the agreement with Enbridge, the complete discharge of the test water could take up to 30 days, with the city maintaining complete control over the rate of flow, although a maximum rate of 2,800 cubic metres per minute, not to exceed 3.3 million litres in a day.
"If we have a heavy rain and our plant can't handle the extra water, we have the right to stop it until we're ready to receive it," said Morin.