Melfort Water Treatment Plant upgrades lower risk of precautionary drinking water advisories

·2 min read

A new $9.6 million addition to the Melfort water treatment plant is intended to extend the longevity of the regional system, providing redundancy and a 40 to 50 year life span.

The original water treatment plant in Melfort was built in 1958 and underwent upgrades in 1972. It was expanded in 1994, shortly after SaskWater purchased the plant.

The system supplies water to approximately 9,000 users from the City of Melfort, the Melfort Rural Pipeline Association, the Village of Weldon, the Town of Kinistino, the Village of Beatty, the Town of Star City, Star City Farming, and Wapiti Valley Regional Park as well as several individual rural users.

The new upgrades include adding a second clarifier, additional filters, transfer piping replacement and backup power generator.

“We’re really pleased with the co-operation of our customers,” said Courtney Mihalicz, SaskWater’s manager of corporate communication. “This project also received grant funding, so there were contributions from both the provincial and federal government which certainly makes a project of this size much more manageable for customers on the system.”

The new backup power generator is planned to decrease service interruptions on the system due to power failure. This reduces the likelihood of precautionary drinking water advisories, which are required when a power outage causes a pipeline to depressurize.

The added clarifier and filters are expected to reduce the load on the existing clarifier unit and allow for major maintenance and cleaning of the unit. It also mitigates the risk of being unable to provide water to the region in the event of a mechanical failure on the existing clarifier.

The transfer piping system was redesigned to create a longer flow path from the plant to the reservoirs. The piping was sized to accommodate the upgraded hydraulics of the plant and meet the current and future demands of the system. The increased chlorine contact time is to help maintain the required chlorine residuals prior to the water entering the distribution systems.

The project had $2.8 million contributed from the federal government, $2.8 million from the provincial government with the remainder of the $9.6 million covered by SaskWater.

Don McMorris, Saskatchewan’s government relations minister, said that they’re proud to invest toward the upgrade, which they hope will help launch east-central Saskatchewan’s economic recovery.

“This upgrade and expansion will provide a safe, reliable water supply to families and businesses in the Melfort area,” McMorris said.

Jessica Durling, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Humboldt Journal

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