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Regional water system highlight of 2013

Posted on January 9, 2014 by Vauxhall Advance

Another year has come and gone for M.D. of Taber council and as Reeve Brian Brewin looks back on 2013, several accomplishments of council and M.D. staff came to mind, but the biggest was the Vauxhall and District Regional Water Treatment Plant.

“Certainly the thing I’ll be able to remember from 2013 is the opening of the Vauxhall water plant. That was huge to get all our hamlets hooked up to a regional system. It will bring this municipality well into the future for water supply,” said Brewin. “To be quite honest, this was something the small hamlets could not afford on their own with other options.”

The $19.3 million Cadillac project saw nearly 90 per cent of the funding offset by Water for Life initiative funding.

“There were two factors. There was the changing of Alberta Environment regulations which required us to meet certain water standards by 2012 and the second was that Alberta Transportation provided the funding  and they would not support funding for stand-alone plants any longer,” said Derrick Krizsan, municipal administrator for the M.D. of Taber. “When there is the opportunity to regionalize, the golden rule applied, the guy with the gold rules.”

Not only was there the grant funding for the Vauxhall regional plant totaling $16.8 million, there was also just over $8 million for the Highway 3 plant the M.D. prospers from as well in helping with the region’s water needs.

“The province has put significant dollars into this region just in those two projects alone,” said Brewin, that made six water plants and streamlined them into to for greater efficiencies. “With your manpower, that’s where you have a lot of your costs come into these plants are your fixed plants. And now there is the potential for the rural component where we have done a lot of work on that so when we get some grant funding we are ready to roll.”

The Vauxhall and District Regional Water Treatment Plant has the capacity to put out 6.2 million litres a day in which this past calendar year during the summer the peak day had 2.5 million litres.

“There is a lot of capacity left over for future growth,” said Brewin of the plant that has a 25-year expected life span. “It was designed for that very reason. The plant itself may have to be replaced (after 25 years), but the big expenses like the piping is longer term.”

Another feather in the cap for the M.D has been the forward progress in developing a regional drainage plan.

“It’s something we have been working on for two or three years where again we are taking a co-operative approach in solving drainage issues. It’s good to see irrigation districts and municipalities work together to find a solution to drainage,” said Brewin. “For a couple years there, you couldn’t go anywhere as a councilor without hearing about concerns on drainage. In the past we’ve started up our small-projects crews to install culverts and everything and we are continuing on with that. It’s not something we’ve forgotten about.”

It has been a self-admitted learning curve for the M.D. in dealing with drainage issues as the regional plan has come to fruition when it comes to residential and industrial developments.

“Certain landuse bylaw amendments have placed a higher burden on developers to insure their developments take into account some of these longer-term issues. We’ve done such things as bonds that will remain with the municipality that will ensure that over that 20 year time from the time they are commissioned until they are fully developed, any deficiencies are paid by the developer,” said Krizsan. “There will be no private profit at the public expense in those instances.”

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