(The former cooling pond is shown above. It is now a small, circular piece of property adjacent to the south Tar Pond. As the grass grows, the former cooling pond will disappear into the landscape.)
The Cooling Pond project is nearly complete. The old circular reservoir, built in 1912 to hold water once used in the steelmaking process at SYSCO, has virtually disappeared.
The $4 million project began by de-watering 3 million gallons, about 250,000 gallons daily, out of the cooling pond to expose sludge (about 1.5 metres deep) spread along the bottom of the structure.
The water was pumped to a permitted facility on the former SYSCO site for treatment. Once treated, the water was properly discharged.
The sediment was impacted by Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPHs), Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), and metals. In mid December, contractors started to Solidify and Stabilize the sludge, starting with a pilot-scale demonstration, followed by full-scale Solidification and Stabilization.
Existing structures, such as old piping and a pump house, were decommissioned and removed from the site.
Throughout the activities, the Sydney Tar Ponds Agency continued with its commitment to protect the community and the environment. The project had a comprehensive environmental management plan that included an extensive air-monitoring program and dust and odour controls. There was also a master health and safety plan to protect workers on site, and the health and safety of the public continues to be of prime importance to the Agency.
The cooling pond project is Nova Scotia's first aboriginal set-aside. The project provided bidders with majority aboriginal ownership and control the opportunity to benefit from cleanup work and to gain skills and training needed to compete for other construction projects.