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M.D. receives update on Vauxhall water situation

Posted on January 26, 2023 by Vauxhall Advance

By Cole Parkinson

Vauxhall Advance

While the residents in Vauxhall continue to deal with water odour and discolouration issues, Municipal District of Taber council has continued to get updates on progress.

“The Vauxhall Water Commission had met with some operators as well as some water drinking experts from an engineering firm as well as Alberta Environment,” explained CAO Arlos Crofts during council’s regular meeting on Jan. 10. “ So, they did meet with them and I do believe the water commission will be having a proposal with respect to raw water treatment projects for testing, probably come spring/summer. They will come with a proposal to the next Vauxhall Water Commission meeting, I believe that is January 23.”

Administration continued to highlight where they were on the timeline in regard to fixing the issue with the water. Right now, the group was looking at a variety of ways to move forward and trying to find the best solution.

“Meanwhile, from an operational perspective, continue to consult with and coordinate with the water drinking experts to tweak a few processes here and there. Most recently, adjusting the skimming time on our DAF (dissolved air flotation) system to see if that makes a difference from a drinking water treatment perspective. I think at the end of the day, the water question is acknowledging there are some taste and odour issues and right now they are trying to diligently, one-by-one eliminate issues. They do really feel there are challenges in the raw water reservoirs,” continued Crofts. “They’ve also done additional testing, which we’re waiting for the results with respect to raw water. They are troubleshooting one issue by one issue and seeing a little bit of an improvement here and there, but not what folks are typically used to.”

Council also had a few more questions about the situation. The first was around how often raw water was tested.

“Would you know if it’s a standard operating procedure to have the raw water supply that they’re using to be treated and have it tested throughout the year? Or is it just testing the outgoing water?” asked Coun. John Turcato.

“I don’t want to speak out of turn, but with respect to frequency, I do believe annually they do. There are three reservoirs that they pull from, from a raw water perspective,” replied Crofts.

With residents contacting councillors about the water, those conversations were brought forward to the rest of council.

“The email that I got from a ratepayer, he contacted Jack Dunsmore, and he was quite happy with the explanation. He is wondering if there could be any discussion on delaying the rate increase for water users or something because some people don’t even cook with their water anymore. They’re looking to see if council would do anything on the water charges,” said Coun. John DeGroot.

“Are you suggesting we look at options to compensate water users for taste and colour even though we know the water has tested safely?” asked Deputy Reeve Tamara Miyanaga.

DeGroot responded by stating he was just merely bringing the conversation to council.

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