Phase 1 finishes first operational cycle, final construction phase to be soon underway

Today, the City of Estevan celebrated a pair of project milestones with a switching ceremony, as work continues on the community’s $9.4-million drinking water system upgrade, which will help safeguard the environment and improve quality of life when fully completed.

The project’s first of three phases began in 2017 with construction finished that same year on two settling ponds that store the residuals generated by the water treatment plant to help protect the Souris River. The ponds, which didn’t exist previously at the facility, alternate collecting the residuals, as part of the water treatment process.

About two weeks ago, one of the settling ponds had residuals removed for the first time. About 99,600 kilograms of byproduct (which equates to about nine large school buses or 85 mid-size cars) was removed and won’t enter the Souris River.

To mark this first full operational cycle of Phase 1 and to celebrate construction soon starting on the final phase of the project, dignitaries helped switch settling ponds by turning a control valve.

“The Government of Saskatchewan’s $3.1 million investment toward this key City of Estevan project will help this upgraded infrastructure become a reality. This initiative will benefit residents and visitors alike by enhancing the community’s quality of drinking water. It’s already playing a role in helping protect the environment of our great province, thanks to the work already completed,” Government Relations Minister and Estevan MLA Lori Carr said.

City of Estevan Mayor Roy Ludwig noted, “These necessary upgrades that are being worked on with the Provincial and Federal governments will soon be coming to fruition. This project will benefit our community by improving the quality of our drinking water. By drawing from Rafferty Dam Reservoir, a larger, cleaner body of water, we can resolve the high Trihalomethanes issue that has been troubling us for a while. Trihalomethane levels have been reaching the upper allowable limits, and this project will help bring the levels down to a safer level.”

Construction on the second phase of the project began in the Spring of 2019. It involves building a portion of about a 13 km-long pipeline that when completed will move water to the Estevan Water Treatment Plant from the Rafferty Dam Reservoir, which is a colder and cleaner primary water source than what the facility currently draws from the Boundary Dam Reservoir.

The project’s third and final phase involves construction to soon be underway on a water intake and pump house.

Through the Provincial-Territorial Infrastructure Component – National and Regional Projects program, the governments of Canada and Saskatchewan are each contributing up to $3.1 million toward the Estevan Water Treatment System Upgrades Project. The City of Estevan will be responsible for any remaining costs of the project, which has a total eligible cost of $9.4 million.

The entire project is expected to be completed in 2020.

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