A new water purification centre could be built in Armstrong if the city is successful with a major grant application.
The city’s master sewer plan update of 2014 and sewer implementation plan of 2015 called for significant upgrades to the existing sewer treatment facility, including increasing capacity, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing maintenance and eliminating the city’s current odour issues.
Both plans were similar in capital costs, but as public works manager Doug MacKay discovered, a new, small footprint treatment facility would provide better operating costs, and would allow the city to discharge directly to surface water.
“There were other benefits to go with a new treatment facility that included repurposing 70 hectares of lands, more comprehensive removal of contaminants and the prospect of treating the effluent so that it could be reused for drinking water,” wrote MacKay in a report to council.
Mayor Chris Pieper and council voted unanimously to instruct staff to submit an application for grant funding through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program to a maximum amount of $10 million. The grant would be worth 73 per cent of the anticipated costs. The city’s share would be up to $2.7 million.
“Our system is 30 years old,” said Pieper. “There’s problems with odour, problems with a whole bunch of things. This would definitely upgrade our sewer system to a real high standard and serve our city going forward for many years to come.”
Fortune Creek Water Intake
City staff have engaged R&A Engineering and Western Water Associates to look at the water intake on Fortune Creek.
The goal is to pre-screen water coming into Armstrong’s treatment facilities.
“We’re trying to improve the turbidity and shorten up Stage 2 water restrictions in the spring when we can’t use Fortune Creek,” said Pieper. “We’ve got some plans for pre-screening and hopefully we’ll get something going on that.”