Wheatland County has agreed to pay for water collected from the Wheatland Regional Corporation (WRC) south truck fill station by county fire departments for their training and firefighting.
During its regular meeting on Sept. 15, Wheatland County council voted to assume costs resulting from bulk water collections from the fill station by county fire departments. The decision was made in response to a request made by WRC in July.
All fire departments will be given a unique passcode to track and record the amount of water they use from the station. If annual usage exceeds $5,000 in costs, a report will be made to council. Based on the municipal rate the county pays for water in Gleichen, equal to $3.88 per cubic metre, this amount represents 1,288 cubic metres of water.
Firefighter training evaluations require about 68 cubic metres of water and happen twice a year, so they require about 136 cubic metres per year, representing a cost of about $530 per year.
Water use for emergency firefighting is more difficult to predict, as usage depends on fire type and response length, explained Michael Bourgon, Wheatland County’s manager of emergency and fire services.
The 2017 fires near Gleichen and Carseland required about 3,785 cubic metres of water, equating to a cost of $14,685. However, this value represents the cost if water was sourced from the bulk water station only, and not from other sources.
Sean Feagan, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times