Tuesday, October 18, 2022

City of Prince Rupert exploring prospects for partnership on Water Treatment Plant

City Council Members and MLA Jennifer Rice at the 
Woodworth Dam on Friday
(photo from City of PR FB)

With the Water Dam construction phase announced as complete and the celebration tour taken last week, the City of Prince Rupert is now turning its attention towards the next element of their water infrastructure program that of plans for a Water Treatment Plant.

Last week the City put out a Request for Expressions of interest towards a potential partnership in the development of the facility. Posting the details to their quest through the BC Bid website.

Among the notes for interested proponents are nine key Objectives:

The City is seeking a business partnership with an organization that can demonstrate consistent goals and objectives based on the following criteria: 

1. Ensure that a cost‐effective contract is achieved to design, build, partially finance, operate, and maintain the new water treatment facility to meet the City’s desired level of service through a minimum 20‐year concession period. 

2. The City will maintain an active role in the design and build process. 

3. The facility design must consider fiscally responsible long‐term operating and maintenance costs over capital costs. 

4. The design must meet all federal and provincial regulatory requirements. 

5. Maximize all sustainable and resiliency initiatives and look at operating reduction opportunities where practical. Ensure the Project meets or exceeds any applicable energy efficiency standards outlined in the Pan‐Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change 

6. Limit utility rate increases to an inflationary level. 

7. Adoption of the CUPE local 105 Union Contract for personnel. 

8. Review options to include operations and maintenance of the City’s innovative wastewater treatment system, in addition to the WTP, through the same term in a cost‐effective manner. Thus, an overall water and wastewater operations and maintenance service. 

9. Review options to supplement manpower for maintenance of the City’s Water and Sewer distribution system

Richard Pucci, the City's Operations Director, is overseeing the Bid process.

The timeline for it moving forward has a period for any questions to the City coming to an end on October 28th, with the Deadline to submit expressions of interest set for November 1st.

Presentation week for those proponents interested in the city's proposal will take place from November 21-25.

There is no set date as of yet towards a decision on when the RFP will be issued.

The exploration towards the potential for a partnership is explained as part of the information sheet offered to would be proponents.

The City of Prince Rupert (City) is requesting Expressions of Interest (EOI) from potential partners willing to enter into a legal relationship with the City to assist with the implementation of the City’s required Water Treatment Plant (WTP). EOI gathered from this process will help the City determine whether a business partnership is appropriate for the City’s current situation. 

If it is determined that this is the best route for the City, then an evaluated Request for Proposal (RFP) will follow.

Only EOI from potential business partners willing to explore provision of design, build, financing, operations and maintenance services over a minimum 20‐year period will be reviewed and considered. Submissions related to technology solutions, operational services or actual project delivery through a private sector service contract will not be considered as it will be addressed in the follow‐up RFP.

The full City information package can be reviewed through the BC Bid website.

More notes on Civic Infrastructure and Major Projects can be explored from our archive page.


  1. Why after 8 years is there finally a concern for cost effective contract. Where was this process for: McCarthy Motors, CN Station and the new RCMP Station?

  2. Why is the city moving to privatize the community's water?

    1. Is our operations department at the city experts at wastewater, no.
      Do we have the local talent to staff a wastewater facility with a focus from tap to drain, no.
      You can't just hire Johnny's nephew from down the street to run it.
      Qualifications - https://eocp.ca/certified-operators/how-to-become-an-operator/

      This RFP looks like it includes a 20 year plan to have qualified trained experts transition to the city or district to actually operate the facilities

  3. They really should discuss a major policy shift like this in public.

  4. If I was responding to this tender, the first question I would ask is for the city to define their "active role" request for the design and build portion.

    There is a trend for our city to get over involved in certain infrastructure minutiae. That time spent leads to increased service gaps on the basic needs of residents. For example snow removal, or clearing the golf ball sized gravel from Mcbride.