Wetaskiwin receives almost $18M for wastewater treatment plant

Wetaskiwin is set to receive $17.9 million from the Alberta government to update is wastewater treatment plant.

The city announced the funding in a news release Friday.

The Maskwacis–Wetaskiwin MLA and Minister of Indigenous Relations Rick Wilson and Mayor Tyler Gandam announced the funding.

“The new Wastewater Treatment Plant is a win for the environment and our local economy,” said Mayor Gandam.

“It will give our community the capability to accommodate increased residential growth and allow for specific industries to open in our community that we otherwise would not have had the resources to support, such as craft breweries.”

The city said that the grant was made possible through many years of lobbying efforts and the support of Minister Wilson, Wetaskiwin’s City Council has secured over $34 million in funding for the Wastewater Treatment Plant — including $12.9 million from Alberta Provincial Grant in August 2020 and an additional $4 million from the province in 2023.

Previously, Peace Hills Utilities Inc. informed City Council that a total approximate 41 per cent utility rate increase would be required to fund the mandatory project.

The additional $17.9 million in funding from the province means that Wetaskiwin residents will see an estimated 10 per cent decrease in their current utility rates, which were increased by 31 per cent in 2023 for the project, the release reads.

Construction of a new Wastewater Treatment Plant was deemed necessary after it became clear the City’s old lagoon system — which was constructed in 1979 and had been in service for over 40 years — did not have the technologies required to meet the revised effluent (wastewater) regulations set out under both the Provincial and Federal Wastewater Systems Effluent.

The new Wastewater Treatment Plant is expected to be fully operational by August 2024.

Qiam Noori, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Ponoka News