It will cost $11 million to fix Halifax's damaged sewage treatment plant, says a new report to Halifax regional council.

"Essentially, that gets you a full recovery of the Halifax plant, back operating by spring 2010," Brad Anguish, director of the Harbour Solutions cleanup project, said Monday.

So far, $2.5 million of that amount has been spent to repair the $54-million plant flooded in January after a power failure. It had been operational for just one month.

Insurance will cover most of the bill to repair the Halifax plant, the report states, but who will pay for what's not covered by insurance will be settled only after the Halifax plant is operating again.

The report also says that the builders — Degremont Technologies of France and Dexter Construction of Bedford — have formally asked the city to take ownership the new sewage treatment plant in Dartmouth.

Known as substantial completion, it's a key milestone for the project - a sign that the city accepts the plant is working as it should.

"Obviously, if that is the case, we will be applying for an operating permit," Anguish said.

The application will go to the provincial Environment Department.

Last week, the builders submitted the results of a 14 day performance test, a critical measurement that effluent targets are being met 80 per cent of the time. The results are now being evaluated.

Mayor Peter Kelly is cautiously optimistic.

"For them wanting to ask that it is substantial completion is a good thing. It means the project is moving forward," he said.

Just last month, the Halifax Regional Municipality applied for a six-month extension for commissioning permits for the Dartmouth and Herring Cove sewage treatment plants, signalling more delays for the region's troubled $333-million Harbour Solutions project.

That was the second time the city has asked for more time for the Dartmouth plant to meet its effluent discharge targets before it assumes ownership from the contractor.