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Macleod on list for funds to upgrade water system

Fort Macleod must wait to learn if the province will help fund a $4.59-million project to upgrade the town’s water supply.
Council learned Dec. 10 the project, which includes upgrading the water treatment plant and developing a secondary source of water, is eligible for funding from Alberta Transportation.
“Your application has been placed on our potential project list and will be considered along with other applications based on provincial priorities and budget availability,” infrastructure grants technologist Keith Schenher noted in a letter to council.
Schenher told council Fort Macleod is eligible for a grant of $2,642,696, or 57.55 per cent of the total.
The Town of Fort Macleod would pay $1,970,789.
“We’re in the queue,” Mayor Shawn Patience said.
The need to develop a secondary water source and upgrade the treatment plant came out of a study prepared for council by MPE Engineering Ltd.
Council commissioned the study when the treatment plant could not meet requirements of operating approval by Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development.
Engineers Luke Schoening and Jason Stusick appeared as a delegation Oct. 22 to present the report.
The report was based on population growth projections that would see Fort Macleod with 5,987 residents by 2032.
The population projection included estimates of growth based on construction of the $122-million Alberta Public Security and Law Enforcement Training Centre but was not the impetus for the upgrade.
According to the report, the Town of Fort Macleod’s water use is 873 litres per capita per day (lpcd), based on historical data from 2006-’11.
Typical water demand for communities in southern Alberta is 500 lpcd.
Based on the town’s historical data and population growth projected in the study, Fort Macleod’s average daily water use in 2032 would be 5,229 cubic metres, rising as high as 14,330 cubic metres.
If Fort Macleod lowered its average daily use to the regional average of 500 lpcd, the project average daily demand would drop to 2,993 cubic metres.
The maximum daily demand would fall to 8,980 cubic metres.
The reduced projected demands fall within Alberta Environment’s existing licenced diversion allocation.
Council was also told the plant has to be upgraded to meet new provincial standards for treatment that were issued in June.
The report also informed council the existing raw water intake’s capacity is declining and won’t meet the demand projected for 2032.
The report recommended developing a secondary raw water supply by drilling additional wells and building a pipeline along the Oldman River.
Council learned Dec. 10 Alberta Transportation had approved a $62,875 grant for the secondary water project.
The report also recommends upgrading the pre-treatment system by replacing the coagulant feed system, adding mechanical rapid mixing and eliminating an unused aeration contact chamber.
Improvements should also be made to direct filtration, post-treatment and residuals management.

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