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Flushing completed on regional waterline

Flushing of the regional waterline was completed last week and samples have been sent out
Residents driving along Hwy. 28 may have seen the flushing happening for the regional waterline. Photo submitted.

BONNYVILLE – The regional waterline is inching closer and closer toward completion.   

“They’ve been flushing for a week and anybody who’s been driving along Hwy. 28 could see where they were flushing in the ditches,” said Town of Bonnyville Coun. Brian McEvoy, who sits on the Bonnyville Regional Water Services Commission, during council’s Jan. 12 meeting.    

According to Mark Power, CAO for the commission, there’s been a "significant improvement in the quality of the water that has happened after a week of flushing." 

“Water quality has improved to the point where (bacteria) samples were taken and results should be back (soon). If they pass, the line will be able to be put into service with chlorinated water,” Power added.   

Power estimated that the local contractor would receive the samples back by Jan. 15. 

“If they’re good, we will stop making water at the town’s water treatment plant this weekend and start taking water right from the regional line. This water would be chlorinated,” he noted. “So starting this weekend, instead of working out of the water treatment plant, our operator will work at the reservoir in Bonnyville, monitoring chlorine levels and adding chlorine at the reservoir as needed. Our plan is to run this way, barring any unforeseen circumstances, until the chloraminiation system is operational and commissioned once the pumps at the transfer station have been replaced.” 

The commission is waiting to hear back from the contractor responsible for decommissioning the transfer station with respect to the new pumps for the Chloramination system, after they discovered two pumps weren’t performing correctly.

“Two of the ammonia pumps necessary for creating the chloraminate that will replace chlorine aren’t performing the way they’re supposed to, so the manufacturers and the contractor are in the process of replacing those pumps,” explained McEvoy. “Once those pumps are replaced, then they will move to the chloraminated water. As it stands right now, we’re waiting for the test results to come back and once they do, we can put it into operation with chlorinated water.”   

Once the ammonia pumps are replaced, Power estimates it will take roughly three days for the chloraminated water to reach Bonnyville’s reservoir. 

“When it does, we will shut off the supply line and draw down the reservoir to as low as we can and still have firefighting capacity. That will take two days,” he explained. “Once we’re at minimum capacity, we will start taking water again from the regional line, filling the reservoir as fast as we (can) while simultaneously flushing the chlorinated water out of the town line. After about two days of this, the town should be purged of chlorine water and should be on chloraminated water. In total, the process should take about five days.” 

The pumps will take roughly a week to be installed and to allow the system to switch over, Power stated, and the town will release when they will start to move over to it once the exact dates are known.  

Shovels were in the ground on the regional waterline in 2018. The Cold Lake water treatment plant saw work begin on it in October, while the actual waterline was delayed by a month or so while crews waited for the go ahead from Alberta Environment.   

The pipeline will transfer water from the Cold Lake water treatment plant through the transfer station located near 4 Wing Cold Lake, along Hwy. 28 before heading along the Iron Horse Trail to the Bonnyville pump house and reservoir.  

Robynne Henry, Bonnyville Nouvelle 


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