Construction on waterlines from Innisfail to Olds begins

Tuesday, Mar 06, 2012 06:00 am | SYLVIA COLE
Sylvia Cole/Mountain View Gazette
Sylvia Cole/Mountain View Gazette
In a safety vest left, Rick Blair, chair of the Mountain View Regional Water Services Commission, stands next to MLA Luke Ouellette (centre) and Dennis Cooper, chair for South Red Deer Regional Wastewater Commission. Phase 2 of the wastewater line, which is being constructed in tandem with the waterline, was started last month.
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The second leg of a three-phase wastewater project should be completed by the end of December, Dennis Cooper, chair of the South Red Deer Regional Wastewater Commission, said last week.

The project’s second phase will see a 16-inch pipe running 33.6 kilometres from Innisfail to Olds with lift stations in Bowden and Olds. Cooper said construction on the lift stations has already begun and construction on the pipeline is now a month in.

“We’ve set up the line to run from Olds through Bowden through Innisfail through Penhold through Springbrook, through the Waskasoo line and then it’ll be fed into the City of Red Deer Treatment Plant,” said Cooper of the overall project, which is expected to be completed by 2014 with all communities using the system by 2016.

“We’re using existing infrastructure and facilities to start taking the pressure off the Olds lift station and treatment plant. We’re hoping if everything goes as planned that … by December we’ll be taking a little bit of effluent from Olds. Bowden will be the last to come on board.”

He said it’ll take a few years for Bowden to move its rates up so it doesn’t have “sticker shock” when it moves onto the new system.

John VanDoesburg, project manager, said until upgrades to the City of Red Deer Treatment Plant are done, expected for 2014, the facility will only accept 5,000 cubic metres per day.

Because of that, partial flow of effluent from Olds and Innisfail will be directed via the Waskasoo Line, a 25-year-old line that was used to service Red Deer County, Penhold and Springbrook. It has since been purchased by the commission to start flowing about 50 per cent of Olds effluent away from its wastewater plant.

“The next one would be Innisfail and it would be limited flow,” he said of hooking the lift station to the Waskasoo Line.

The first phase of the project, which VanDoesburg said took two years to complete, included the construction of a lift station at Innisfail that should begin pumping wastewater through the Waskasoo Line within the next three months.

The $240-million overall project will also cover construction of a twinned waterline running from the Anthony Henday Water Treatment Plant located north of Innisfail to Olds.

“This is probably the largest infrastructure project in this area in water and wastewater for sure,” said Rick Blair, chair of Mountain View Regional Water Services Commission.

The line will connect with a midline reservoir in Olds. The existing pipe will be used primarily to service Olds while the other pipe will be used to service communities to the south such as Didsbury, Carstairs and Crossfield, explained VanDoesburg.

VanDoesburg said plans to twin the waterlines at the same time as constructing the wastewater line will save each commission roughly 25 per cent on construction costs.

“So when you look at that it’s well worth it for guaranteeing our clean water and being able to get rid of our wastewater for 25 years,” he said. The lifespan of the water and wastewater lines, both estimated to hold capacity for the next 25 years, is based on 2.5 per cent yearly growth.

The waterline project received $10 million from the provincial government last year. The remaining dollars for the anticipated $26 million project are expected to come from the water commission.

The wastewater project received 90 per cent of the funding from the province with the remaining 10 per cent to come from the wastewater commission. Upgrades to the plant in Red Deer are split between the city and the commission, 42:48. The commission’s share is covered by funding from the provincial government, added VanDoesburg.

He said that there will be a full-time inspector on site for the construction and there is currently someone working with landowners to avoid problems that occurred during Phase 1.

“The primary thing is we moved it out of the roads so it doesn’t affect the ability for farmers to move around,” said Cooper. “That was what caused the problem — farmers couldn’t get around, mobility was an issue; by moving them into the field it got out of the big problem.”

He also said all of the land needed for the second phase construction has been secured.


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