Drinking Water

A clean and safe water drinking supply is one of the top priorities of the citizens of Estevan. The City of Estevan takes pride in its water quality. Saskatchewan Watershed Authority regulates the quality of our drinking water.

Water Treatment Plant  

The Estevan WTP is a surface water plant that can produce up to 14,000 cubic meters of water per day.  It is operated by a staff of certified operators and is regulated by the Saskatchewan Water Security Agency (WSA).  The treatment process is a class 4 facility which is the highest classification for a treatment facility in the classification system which evaluates the complexity of the treatment train to establish what level of staff is required to operate it.

Our permit to operate outlines the activities required during the processing of drinking water as well as the testing regime required to ensure the quality of the water meets and exceeds the provincial requirements.  We have adopted a Quality Control/ Quality Assurance procedure in the operation of the plant to ensure the permit requirements are met.

An independent audit is conducted every 5 years to ensure the facility and the operational protocols can meet the needs of the City and of the permit to operate.

We are in the process of installing a new intake into the Rafferty Dam Reservoir.  This new water source will supply the City with higher quality water. We will maintain the Boundary Dam intake as a redundant source point to ensure the uninterrupted supply for the City.  In 2017, a separate treatment system was opened to remove and dispose of, in an environmentally responsible manner, the particulates removed from the water during the treatment process.  Instead of taking the residuals from filter washes and settlement tanks and disposing of it in the Souris River, it is now being removed in ponds and will be disposed of in an environmentally conscious fashion.

The City of Estevan uses a multiple barrier approach in the process train while treating the water for potable use.

  • Intake into the reservoir is placed at a point that draws the best water quality available. This was altered in 1995 to bring the intake higher in the reservoir.  We are also designing an intake into Rafferty Reservoir to get the highest quality water available.
  • Oxidizers and coagulants are used to condition the material suspended and dissolved in the water so that they settle in the flocculation and settlement chambers.
  • The water is then directed to filters which will remove more of the suspended matter. The filters have all been refurbished from 2005 – 2007.
  • The water, prior to being made available for drinking, goes through 3 disinfection processes. First, free chlorine is injected prior to filtration. Free chlorine is a very strong disinfectant and quickly inactivates any pathogen it comes in contact with in the filter. The water is then sent to a bank of UV (ultraviolet) reactors where the light will further ensure no pathogens have made it past treatment.  Finally, to ensure the water stays disinfected all the way to the point of use, a mixture of chlorine and ammonia is added to form monochloramines. This substance retains a residual disinfection concentration, which is monitored throughout the distribution system.
  • The staff at the WTP use an in-house lab to routinely measure water quality being produced as well we send samples weekly to an independent lab to look for any problems with the water meant for human consumption.

The City of Estevan Water Treatment Plant was established in the 1950’s and was built south of Estevan by the Souris River where the Long Creek and the Souris join.  The plant was designed and built to treat surface water and used the Long Creek as the source.  In 1984, a pipeline to Boundary Dam was built which allowed the City to draw directly from the dam which improved water quality.  Demand on the water for the City exceeded the capacity of the plant, so an expansion was built in 1988 that increased the capacity by a factor of 3 which has met the needs of the City to the present day.

Starting in 2004, several upgrades were completed to improve the quality and the disinfection of the drinking water for the City.  These included new filtration, chemical feed systems, and the addition of ultraviolet disinfection reactors.

The City Water Treatment Plant pumps treated drinking water to the City of Estevan as well as to a portion of the RM of Estevan through approximately 70 kms of pipes.  The water is fed to over 4000 services, and to 2 underground reservoirs as well as the Water Tower.  The City is split into two pressure zones and 2 pump houses control the pressure in these zones.  The Water Tower is used as an emergency supply during power outages and other equipment failures.  The Water Tower was built in 1956, the Smith Street Reservoir and pump house was constructed in 1990, and the Wellock Reservoir and pump house was completed in 2013.

The City average consumption of water is close to 5000 cubic meters per day with a peak daily use of 10,000 cubic meters.  The capacity of the Treatment Plant is around 14,000 cubic meters and the City can store 13 955 meters cubed if all reserves were top full.

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