With the Spring 2020 deadline for the regional waterline looming, construction on the project is in full swing.
While there was some delays due to the frigid temperatures, they’ve since started back up.
“At the water treatment plant, the work was happening because there was some planned shutdowns,” noted Azam Khan, general manager of infrastructure services for the City of Cold Lake. “The staff actually contracted in those temperatures, and we really commend them for that.”
Khan hopes that the summer will see an increase in productivity, with no major delays anticipated at this time.
The work on the water treatment plant and transfer station started in October 2018, while construction on the waterline itself saw some delays because approval was needed from Alberta Environment.
City of Cold Lake Mayor Craig Copeland noted it was to be expected due to the waterline’s proximity to the Iron Horse Trail.
When the water leaves the Cold Lake water treatment plant, it will go through a transfer station near 4 Wing Cold Lake and along Hwy. 28, before heading back to the trail and straight to the Bonnyville pump house and reservoir.
According to Khan, Environment Alberta worked with the city to expedite the approval process to ensure work on the pipeline was able to start.
“There might be some delay, but it’s not significant in the scheme of things. We’ll still reach the spring deadline,” he emphasized.
One of the major projects for the waterline are the upgrades being done to the Cold Lake water treatment plant to adapt to the increase in users.
“They’re making it bigger to accommodate more people... It’s going to have a new facelift and equipment installed,” Copeland explained.
Some of the updates include a new membrane train, clear-well, transfer pumps, raw water pumps, and intake screen upgrades.
Work on the waterline has started in two locations. One is in the south-side of Cold Lake by the Iron Horse Trail, while the second is located along Hwy. 28, west of Fort Kent.
With the project being 17-years in the making, the sights of construction are well overdue, said MD Reeve Greg Sawchuk.
“To finally see the pipes there and equipment working, I’m sure that people are glad that it’s finally underway.”
Town of Bonnyville Mayor Gene Sobolewski believes construction is on schedule, and said it’s great to see Cold Lake water coming to Bonnyville.
“All of the progress I’ve heard so far is positive, other than the cold weather for the piping,” he said.
The project has a budget of $83-million. Part of it is covered by the federal and provincial governments through the Alberta Community Partnership (ACP) grant, and $32.4-million from the Canada Water and Wastewater Fund.
Both Sobolewski and Sawchuk pushed to have local companies included in the tender process.
“That was a good thing because the folks that were doing the engineering didn’t have that local knowledge of these companies... We pushed to have them included, and SITE was the contractor who is doing a lot of the main pipeline work,” detailed Sawchuk.
Copeland believes the project will have a positive impact on the region.
“For the City of Cold Lake itself, there’s the upgrades to the water treatment plant that the city would have eventually had to do that’s being funded by this project. It’s a benefit to Cold Lake because it’s not costing us, but, for the Town of Bonnyville... and in the future people that are going to be tied into it, they get amazing Cold Lake water.”