Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Ribbon cutting at improved Pincher Creek water treatment facility

Director of Operations Al Roth, Mayor Don Anderberg, MP John Barlow, CAO Laurie Wilgosh

Toni Lucas - A ceremonial ribbon cutting for the improvements to the Pincher Creek water treatment facility happened Friday, September 2. The event was attended by Foothills Member of Parliament John Barlow, Mayor Don Anderberg, members of town council, the press, town employees, and other interested parties.

 Town of Pincher Creek CAO Laurie Wilgosh said there is close to $1.5 million total destined to be invested in recent and upcoming water treatment upgrades including lagoon upgrades and water treatment plant upgrades. The projects are being funded through a combination of federal, provincial, and municipal funding. Some of these upgrades include piping, valves and reactors as well as staff training for the new Ultra Violet (UV) system. There was a tour of the facility followed by refreshments.

Mayor Anderberg and MP John Barlow during the tour
After the ribbon cutting MP John Barlow said, "We know a water treatment facility like this is one of the most critical pieces of infrastructure a municipality can provide for its citizens." Barlow recognized the work that has to go into spearheading these large upgrades on behalf of a municipality. "Thanks to you guys as well for all the work that you did on behalf of Pincher Creek to make sure this project became a reality, and thank you for having me here, today."

Mayor Don Anderberg thanked the federal and provincial governments, and the many people and administrations, staff, and contractors who helped this become a reality. "This is a real team effort, including the citizens who make up council. We are so lucky to be living where we are, with the quality of water we have before we taken it out of the earth."

"We are in total compliance with Provincial regulations going forward for approximately the next ten years."

Al Roth leading tour of flocculation tanks
Director of Operations Al Roth explained the water is drawn from either the Castle River or Pincher Creek. "We are very fortunate in regards to living this close to the networks of our natural water systems. Our turbidity levels are low, which is good."

Public Works Coordinator and Water and Waste Water Treatment Operator Blaise Bruder helped conduct a tour of the facility filled with tanks, tubes, pumps and meters. He gave an estimate that there is a 2.5 days supply for the entire town within the building itself. "There is a million and a quarter imperial gallons up there, between those two reservoirs." Bruder estimated the town uses 2,200 to 6,000 cubic metres a day depending on weather conditions and season. The raw water reservoir outside holds 20 million gallons which he translated into a two to three week supply.

There were some areas within the building the public could not go due to safety issues. One of the oddities of the tour was a massive two story high plastic lined wooden container containing aluminum sulfate, commonly called alum. This chemical is highly corrosive and is used to coagulate particles into larger particles which then settle to the bottom of the tanks to be more easily scrubbed during the cleaning process.

Aluminum sulphate tank

Bruder explained the flow of the system is water is taken from either or both the Castle River or the Pincher Creek and is pumped to the large outdoor reservoir on Beaver Drive. The two smaller ponds filter backwash. Then the water is pumped into the building. The water then goes through the three flocculation cells and on to the settling tank to reduce turbidity. Then the water is filtered and treated, including exposure to ultraviolet light. Then it goes into the clearwell, then it is pumped to the water towers on the south hill, ready for distribution. The two water towers hold 1.25 million imperial gallons combined.  The full tour is impressive, however the entire system is marked on a flow chart right inside the doors, helping anyone who is allowed to enter to understand the system layout better.

Public Works Coordinator and Water and Waste Water Treatment Operator Blaise Bruder

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