A water treatment plant in Waterloo will see more than $7 million in upgrades one year ahead of schedule.

The upgrades at the Colonial Acres pumping station on Denholm Street, near Bridge Street and Lexington Road, are coming in the aftermath of a power outage earlier this month that led to a spill of 860 cubic metres of raw sewage in the Grand River.

Denise McGoldrick, Waterloo’s director of water services, says the station has a generator which should have kicked in once the power went out, but the switch to move power to the generator became stuck in a neutral position.

 “It wasn’t supplying power to the station either through the hydro grid system or the backup generator,” she tells CTV News.

“It seems to have been something to do with the wiring.”

The pumping station was due for upgrades in 2015 – but as a result of that incident, the timetable has been moved up to next spring.

“This is a piece of critical infrastructure,” says McGoldrick.

The upgrades will see older equipment replaced, while the station itself will be expanded to double its current capacity.

Brian Bartlett, whose house near the station saw some minor flooding during the sewage spill, says he’s happy to see the work done sooner.

“The city has this all engineered and I’ll leave those decisions with them,” he says.

“I’m sure they’ll do everything appropriately.”

The city is applying for a provincial grant that would cover about $1.6 million of the upgrades.