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Thursday, 02 June 2011 11:59

Regional water treatment plant now under construction

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By Susan Quinlan
The soil has now turned and construction of Vauxhall’s new multi-million dollar water treatment plant is underway, and will replace existing plants in the communities of Vauxhall, Hays and Enchant.

“The total project cost for everything is $19,330,000,” said Derrick Krizsan, municipal administrator for the M.D. of Taber, manager of the plant’s construction for the Vauxhall and District Regional Water Services Commission.

Planning for the new plant got underway a few years ago, said Krizsan, given the need to update so current regulations can be met.

“Water quality in Hays and Enchant is excellent, but the plants are meeting the end of their service live,” with the Hays plant having been constructed in 1954.

“The first thing you want to do when you enter the Hays’ plant is take your shoes off,” said Krizsan, as the condition of that plant reflects the care and diligence of operational staff.

However, current regulations require significant upgrades, so with funding made available for joint projects under the Water For Life Strategy, the Vauxhall and District Regional Water Services Commission undertook the required studies, settled on a design and secured required funding.

Maple Reindeers Calgary Incorporated submitted the successful tender for $8,553,000, said Krizsan, and have started construction in Vauxhall with the completion date set for September 2012.

Meanwhile, L.W. Dennis, Lethbridge, made the successful bid to run the pipeline from the new Vauxhall plant to Hays and Enchant with those two contracts valued at $3,079,000 (to Hays) and $3,175,000 (to Enchant), said Krizsan.

Eighty-six percent of this total project’s cost is covered by the Water for Life Strategy, said Krizsan. The M.D. of Taber’s share will subsequently be $1,615,000 and Vauxhall’s, $600,000.

“The fact that the project is funded to 86 per cent is absolutely wonderful for our communities. It’s an incredible opportunity to address the long-term water needs for our communities.”

Krizsan said the M.D. of Taber has terrific staff to manage the project, having recently managed the Highway 3 Regional Water Services project that resulted in a new water treatment plant for Bow Island and transmission lines to the hamlets of Grassy Lake and Burdett, set to flow by June.

“That was a $9 million project, funded 92 per cent by Water for Life. A fantastic project.”

Meanwhile, the M.D. of Taber’s current undertaking will see the decommissioning of three water treatment plants and development of two larger plants.

“We expect to see economies of scale,” or a cost advantage obtained due to expansion.

Krizsan explained the cost advantage, or price per unit, goes down as volume produced increases, because certain costs, such as staffing and electricity, remain constant, regardless of the volume of water produced.

 “These plants have been built with a view to providing water to rural areas as well.”

Having rural potable water available now and in the future will also benefit current and future residents, said Krizsan.

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