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Ontario Construction News staff writer
A $22.1-million project to expand Windsor’s potable water storage capacity and fully redevelop George Avenue Park was unveiled last week.
The new George Avenue underground reservoir adds 35 megalitres to Windsor’s storage capacity for potable water, ensuring the continued abundant supply of safe and clean drinking water for residents. This amount is equal to 14 Olympic-size swimming pools and is capable of supplying average residential water usage for approximately 150,000 people, or to about 60,000 homes, per day.
“As Windsor experiences unprecedented growth, it is vital we expand and enhance municipal services that maintain the high quality of life that makes our community desirable,” said Mayor Drew Dilkens. “That is exactly what the City of Windsor and Windsor Utilities Commission have achieved with the construction of the George Avenue reservoir and park. Together we have given new life to an old park and secured our supply of drinking water to meet the growing needs of our community for many years to come.”
This reservoir represents a $20.9 million investment by the Windsor Utilities Commission (WUC), which is operated by ENWIN Utilities, ensuring that Windsor meets or exceeds the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks’ water storage capacity requirements long into the future.
Previously, Windsor had only one basin to store drinking water – a single cell reservoir with a capacity of 70 megalitres located at the Albert H. Weeks Water Treatment Plant. The new George Avenue Reservoir increases Windsor’s drinking water storage capacity by 50 percent and adds the security of a backup reservoir in case of an emergency.
WUC also contributed about $345,000 to the City of Windsor’s $1.2-million full redevelopment of George Avenue Park, a 6.2-acre parkland located on the corner of Wyandotte Street East and George Avenue.
“This is a very important moment in the history of our city and the Windsor Utilities Commission as we celebrate the completion of a project designed to ensure our supply of fresh drinking water for many decades to come. WUC is fortunate to partner with the City of Windsor that appreciates the value of a long-term, complex project like this,” said Helga Reidel, ENWIN Utilities president and CEO.
The revitalization of George Avenue Park includes:
- A new nature/wetland-themed playground
- 610 metres of concrete pathways
- Fenced, rubber-surface basketball court
- Shelter with two picnic tables
- 195 new trees
- 14 lights
- 6 new catch basins for drainage improvements
- 16-spot asphalt parking lot
“Today’s announcement may signify the end of a project, but it celebrates a new beginning for our community. George Avenue Park is now situated on top of a 35-megalitre reservoir that offers Windsor residents a reliable, abundant and safe supply of drinking water long into the foreseeable future,” said Garry Rossi, ENWIN Utilities VP, water operations