This checklist outlines the best practices for your municipality to follow to ensure a successful wastewater upgrade project. It is based on a three-part article series that provides a framework to help municipalities develop innovative and sustainable wastewater system projects.

It highlights important points to consider during each of the three phases of a successful project:

  1. Phase 1: Project scoping and stakeholder engagement
  2. Phase 2: Project planning and design
  3. Phase 3: Procurement, construction and start-up

Use the checklist as a guide to ensure that you are addressing the key issues during each phase of your project.

Phase 1: Project scoping and stakeholder engagement

How a wastewater treatment project is defined and who is involved in defining it set the stage for the rest of the project.

Activity Yes No
Develop a long-term vision Your municipality (council) has considered and/or discussed a long-term vision for serving the community. Operations staff have been included in those discussions.      
Engage early and broadly Your project manager has engaged all of the relevant stakeholders. This may include regulators, citizen groups, council, operations staff and staff from other relevant departments (e.g. procurement, environment or engineering).    
Conduct background research Your engineering department and/or operations staff have identified technologies that might work for your system. You have completed a comprehensive review of information from other sources such as regulators, other municipalities, the Canadian Water and Wastewater Association, the Canadian Water Network, equipment suppliers and regional wastewater associations.      
Develop a clear project scope The project manager has outlined the goals and realistic objectives to address your project needs.    

Phase 2: Project planning and design

Innovative and sustainable projects require an integrated approach to planning, management and decision making.

Activity Yes No
Use integrated teams and processes You have representation from the various relevant departments within your municipality (e.g. procurement, operations, engineering, environment, communications). You are planning to have regular team meetings.    
Optimize long-term returns on investment You have undertaken a value-engineering analysis. A part of your team is undertaking a life-cycle cost analysis.    
Include contingencies in the project budget and schedule A percentage of the budget has been set aside for contingencies. You have factored the costs associated with extreme weather events in your budgeting. You have considered how the schedule could be affected by delays in funding.    

Phase 3: Procurement, construction and start-up

Building your wastewater facility requires a mix of careful planning, coordination and flexibility.

Activity Yes No
Use flexible procurement processes You have consulted with your procurement department. You have established a procurement process. You have considered alternative service delivery methods.      
Use effective communications and project management You are communicating with each stakeholder group. You are sharing information with councillors.    
Develop a comprehensive training and change plan You have considered how you will keep operations staff up to date with training.    
Prepare detailed testing and commissioning work plans You have a testing plan in place throughout the project. Your commissioning plan is in place.    
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