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  • Writer's pictureElena Ranyuk, PhD MBA

Cost overruns & non-compliance in stormwater treatment. Risk management strategies.

Updated: Mar 13, 2023

Stormwater treatment is a vital part of construction site ESC planning and management. However, even though conventional sediment control is a fairly commoditized service, most project managers still find it challenging to estimate water treatment cost in the planning phase and manage the cost overruns, project delays and pollution incidents during the project execution.

water treatment discharge risks

Why is it challenging for the project managers to budget for the water treatment scope and manage the risks?

Without a clearly defined performance standard in stormwater treatment industry, various providers offer different equipment set-ups, chemistries, and service standards. With over 15 different water treatment contractors serving just the Lower Mainland in BC, it is nearly impossible for the project managers without water treatment “know-how” to accurately compare the different service offerings in the bidding stage and control water treatment scope at the later project stages.

This slide deck available for download was presented by Flowlink at the 2019 ESC conference hosted by Erosion and Sediment Control Association of BC. Click on this link to view and download the PDF.

If you are a project manager or project owner, in this slide deck you will find tips and list of questions to ask in the bidding and negotiation stages, and learn about the readily accessible tools which will allow you to manage this scope more effectively after the contract award. In a nutshell, after reviewing this presentation we hope you will face fewer surprises from a water treatment “black box” and take a step toward a well-informed decision-making and more effective risk management.

Below is an example of useful bits of information you will find in the PDF.

What Can Be Done in Planning Stage (Slide 18)?


1a. Have Water Treatment Contractor (WTC) sign off that the system is sized to handle specified flow rate (intake/discharge rate, hose/fitting/injection pump size, ...) or have them sign YOUR contract, or

1b. Do not rely on the WTC design: ask to quote specific equipment configuration to compare “Apples to Apples.”


1. Require an estimate in $/m3 from every supplier (or a dose rate), even if it is a range; ask for the best and worst case scenarios. Try our Online Cost Calculator to see why it's important.

2. Budget for a flow meter w/data logging function or a real-time monitoring system

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