National partnership award for District of Sooke & EPCOR

    SOOKE, BC, Nov. 29 /CNW/ - The District of Sooke and EPCOR have received
a national award for their partnership approach to developing new wastewater
infrastructure for this Vancouver Island community of 10,000 residents. The
Canadian Council of Public Private Partnerships named the District of Sooke
and EPCOR as recipients of the C.W. Chuck Wills Award for the 2007 National
Awards for Innovation and Excellence in Public-Private Partnerships.
Recognizing project excellence at the municipal level, this award has been
handed out only once before.
    The District of Sooke and EPCOR completed a secondary wastewater
treatment and collection system in early 2006. The $22.5 million project was
completed ahead of schedule and on-budget. The District maintains ownership of
the asset, which is a vital element of Sooke's commitment to a healthy and
sustainable community.
    "Our partnership with EPCOR has delivered value to the residents of
Sooke," said Mayor Janet Evans. "With Sooke being a newly incorporated
municipality, we had very little in the way of infrastructure resources.
Partnering with EPCOR made this project feasible and provided both
environmental benefits and economic opportunities. From our early
collaborative work, we were able to improve upon the type of sewage treatment
we initially considered, while ensuring overall affordability. We have found
EPCOR to be a very community-minded company and our wastewater system will
support future growth and sustainability in Sooke."
    Prior to the development of this system, residents in the core area were
served by over 1,000 individual septic systems. Septic leakage was seeping
into Sooke Harbour and Basin, creating a serious environmental problem for the
local marine environment.
    "Well-structured partnership agreements can provide communities like
Sooke with new opportunities for infrastructure, such as water and sewage
systems," said Karim Kassam, Vice President, EPCOR British Columbia. "Rate
payers receive value for their money, access to expertise and new levels of
service accountability over the lifecycle through public private partnerships
with qualified and reputable companies."

    The District of Sooke is a seaside municipality located on the west coast
of Vancouver Island with a growing population of 10,000. District of Sooke's
website is

    EPCOR Utilities Inc. builds, owns and/or operates power plants,
electrical transmission and distribution networks, water and wastewater
treatment facilities and infrastructure in Canada and the United States. EPCOR
has been named one of Canada's Top 100 Employers for eight consecutive years,
and is headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta. EPCOR's web site is

For further information:

For further information: Mayor Janet Evans, District of Sooke, B.C.,
(250) 415-6003; Jay Shukin, EPCOR, Corporate Relations, (780) 412-8877

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EPCOR Utilities Inc.

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