Wednesday, 02 November 2011 15:05

City receives stewardship award for wastewater treatment plant

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By Matthew Liebenberg — This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Swift Current Creek Watershed Stewards presented the City of Swift Current with their inaugural Good Stewardship award at a brief ceremony along the Chinook pathway Nov. 1.

Representatives from the stewardship group and the City unveiled a plaque at a resting spot along the pathway just off 14th Ave. S.E. in recognition of the Swift Current wastewater treatment plant, which has resulted in an improvement of water quality in the creek.

“We have done a monitoring project in the Swift Current Creek and the effluent that was going down the creek was not good,” Watershed Stewards Executive Director Arlene Unvoas said. “When the wastewater treatment plan came online we were actually sampling water before, during and after and the improvement was incredible afterwards.”

Watershed Stewards Chair Harold Martens, a retired rancher who farmed downstream of the treatment plant, said it was the most significant change during the past 10 years for water users.

“This is a good thing and I want the city to know that,” he said.

City Councillor Gord Budd emphasized it is everyone’s duty to be environmentally responsible, both the City of Swift Current and everyone along the creek. Before the building of the treatment plant, he said sewage used to be dumped in lagoons.

“Of course the lagoons got full and it went into the creek and that’s where the fines came in.”

He praised the work done by previous City councils under the leadership of former mayors Paul Elder and Sandy Larson.

“So no one group can take credit for this, it’s a city-wide thing and it’s something that we’re only too happy to be involved in,” he said. “As stewards of our community and the creek we intend to stay very involved in the future.”

Tim Cox, the superintendent at the water treatment plant, provided some detail about the operation of the facility. At the time the plant was built at a cost of $15 million, which he said was a bargain in comparison with the cost to build a similar plant today.

“Building the plant was definitely a step in the right direction,” he said.

He supervises three operators at the plant, which treats five million litres of water per day. It is a state-of-the-art plant that is completely chemical free.

“The quality of water leaving the plant is often times better than upstream from us,” he said.

The intention of the Swift Current Creek Watershed Stewards is to present this award on a regular basis.

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