Water Treatment Facility in Harrington Harbour

Prior to this project, residents of Harrington Harbour, a village in the province of Quebec, Canada, never had access to proper drinking water.


  • Harrington Harbour, Québec, Canada


  • Municipalité de la Côte-Nord-du-Golfe-du-Saint-Laurent

Project Status

  • Completed in 2015

Needing a New Water System

A permanent boil-water advisory was in effect in the village from 2004 to 2010. Furthermore, only 40 of the 110 homes were connected to the water system; the others hooked up to the system occasionally to fill their tanks with non-potable water of variable colour.

The upgrading project involved changing the water supply system, adding a water source and a monitoring station, and building a new insulated, heated distribution system and water treatment plant.

Given the remote location and difficult site access, we faced considerable challenges in terms of logistics and feasibility. Outcropping rock and wetlands also complicated the work.

Recommending a Water Solution

Water treatment by nanofiltration was selected because the water sources in the Harrington Harbour area are surface sources that require full-filtration treatment.

The ubiquity of the rock and the absence of roads on the island (only boardwalks) added to the complexity of the work.

Finally, we had to pay special attention to the island’s tourist vocation, which meant that residents were highly sensitive to the work.

Innovative Engineering

Limited access due to the site’s remoteness was one of the main challenges. Given the shortage of local materials and skilled labour, it would have been very expensive to build a water treatment plant on site. The design team and stakeholders therefore chose to build the plant in "southern" Quebec. Once completed, the plant was dismantled, put into sealed containers and transported by boat to Harrington Harbour, where it was reassembled on the selected site. The project logistics required flawless coordination and tracking.

The presence of rock and the local climate meant that the drinking water distribution network had to be built with HDPE pipe, insulated and heated to prevent freezing.

Our team delivered the following:

  • Surface water supply / hydrology study

  • Preparation of solutions and estimates

  • Permit and subsidy requests

  • Surveying of the ground, infrastructure and useful assets

  • Detailed plans and specifications

  • Cost estimates

  • Call for tenders and management

  • Construction supervision

  • Commissioning

The project was delivered on time and within budget, despite the constraints. The project was commissioned as planned before the winter of 2015. However, due to a number of construction delays, operating deficiency correction could only take place in spring 2016.