Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Castle Area Servicing Study completed, to be presented to province

CDTL - On June 27, 2016 the Government of Alberta announced a $448,832 grant to support detailed design work to extend the MD of Pincher Creek's regional water supply system to include the community of Beaver Mines. In late March of this year the Government of Alberta announced a $9 million grant to extend the Beaver Mines potable water pipeline connection along Highway 774 to Castle Mountain Resort.

According to a report to council MD of Pincher Creek's council at their August 22 regular meeting by Director of Operations Leo Reedyk, "The Provincial announcement that potable water would be made available for Castle Parks and Castle Mountain Resort necessitated a study to determine the requirements for the Cowley/Lundbreck Regional Water System. Council initiated a study to determine the feasibility." The study has now been completed and released to the MD by Project Manager Luke Schoening of MPE Engineering Ltd.(Lethbridge) and was attached to Reedyk's report. According to Reedyk, "It identifies expansion requirements and order of magnitude costs for the project. Council has previously indicated to the Provincial Government its commitment to the project including ownership of the infrastructure when constructed." Reedyk told council there were some small changes that will affect the cost to the project, including an increase in the size of piping, and three-phase power requirements. "I seem to recall the estimated cost at this point is $12.7 million, which is slightly more than what was initially there ($12,240,000)," said Reedyk. He recommended council forward a copy of the study "to the Minister of Environment and Parks and the Minister of Transportation for consideration in their budget deliberations and for formal approval to the Municipal District."

Councillor Quentin Stevick asked why there was a larger diameter pipe planned for the line after Beaver Mines. Reedyk explained there was going to be a booster station after Beaver Mines, and the larger diameter pipe has thicker walls and can take more pressure. Stevick said Castle Mountain currently uses well water, and he was curious about why the piping system was planned instead of a continued use of the wells. Reedyk said "As I understand it, the capacity (of the wells) would not be sufficient to meet the long term build-out."

Council decided to receive the study and forward a copy to the appropriate Alberta government ministers.

Excerpts and notes from the Castle Area Servicing Study and related reports and studies (primarily adapted from the MPE Engineering Ltd. study):

  • The water line to the Castle Mountain Resort is not intended to supply water for snow making.
  • Castle Mountain Resort is currently in the process of obtaining a separate diversion license for the purpose of snow making, which would allow them to divert water from Haig Creek.
  • Historical records for the Village of Cowley and Hamlet of Lundbreck indicate that per capita water usage is trending downwards.
  • Projected water demands for the urban centers, Castle Mountain Resort, and Castle Provincial Park are equal to the sum of 1,468 m3/Day in the summer and 1,417 m3/Day in the winter.
  • The Cowley-Lundbreck Regional Water Treatment Plant has a full buildout capacity of 1,552 m3/Day.
  • Servicing the Castle Area will require upgrades to the Cowley-Lundbreck Regional Water Treatment Plant, including increased pipe diameter for regional pipeline between the water treatment plant and Beaver Mines, increased pump capacity at the proposed booster station to Beaver Mines, increased transmission main pipe diameter within Beaver Mines from 150 mm to 200 mm, a booster pump station to Castle Mountain Resort, and a 150 mm and 200 mm diameter regional line from Beaver Mines to Castle Mountain Resort.
  • Preliminary discussions among the stakeholders have indicated that the Highway 774 corridor between Beaver Mines and Castle Mountain Resort is the preferred route for a regional pipeline. Within the Highway 774 corridor there are several factors to consider when determining an alignment for the pipeline including the Highway 774 surface, construction on lands within the provincial park boundary, the West Castle Wetlands ecological reserve to the north of Castle Mountain Resort, and existing and planned utilities.
  • Alberta Parks stated that a pipeline should not be installed through the ecological reserve.
  • A review of survey information collected along Highway 774 was used to determine the feasibility of locating a regional pipeline within the existing highway right-of-way. It is not generally desirable for the pipeline to be installed underneath a paved surface.
  • Detailed discussions with Alberta Transportation regarding the pipeline alignment and proximity to the paved surface are required to accurately determine the length of pipeline that will be required to be installed outside of the Highway 774 right-of-way.
  • Castle Mountain Resort has reached out to utility providers to upgrade services to the resort. Based on the survey information reviewed, it is highly unlikely that multiple underground utilities will be able to occupy the same side of the Highway right-of-way. 
  • Annual records were analyzed to determine the historical water consumption for each community and Castle Mountain Resort. Typically peakwater consumption occurs during the summer months, but Castle Mountain Resort's peakwater consumption occurs in the winter. Due to the different peak consumption seasons, the annual records were analyzed to determine the water consumption for the months April to September (Summer) and October to March (Winter) for each community and Castle Mountain Resort.
  • Historical information is not available for Beaver Mines, Pincher Station, and Castle Provincial Park as there are no pre-existing water treatment and/or distribution facilities at these locations.
  • Historical records were obtained for the Village of Cowley and Hamlet of Lundbreck for the years 2015 and 2016, and partial records for the years 2014 and 2017 were also obtained for both locations. Historical records for Lundbreck and Cowley that were obtained for the "Cowley·Lundbreck Regional Water Supply Study", completed in January 2012 by MPE were also considered in this study.
  • The total water consumed in 2016 by Cowley and Lundbreck is lower than that of 2015 due to a water use restriction that was put in place throughout the summer. Lower water consumption throughout the winter season of 2016/2017 is likely due to the residual effect of the water use restriction.
  • Village of Cowley: The average day demand in the summer Is 510 lpcd (litres per capita per day), and 373 lpcd in the winter, and the peaking factors for the summer and winter months are 2.0 and 1.9, respectively.
  • Hamlet of Lundbreck: The average day demand in the summer is 714 lpcd (litres per capita per day), and 487 lpcd in the winter.
  • The Cowley-Lundbreck Regional Water Treatment Plant's current capacity is 1,135 m3/Day. With minor upgrades, the capacity of the water treatment plant can be increased to 1,552 m3/Day, which will satisfy the projected demand of 1,468 m3/Day.
  • As per the "Castle Mountain Resort Master Development Plan" issued in 2017, the existing conditions at Castle Mountain Resort allow for a comfortable carrying capacity of 1710 skiers per day, 74 visitors taking part in additional winter activities, 90 passive guests, and 131 accommodation units. Average annual visitation is currently 93,000 visitors per year, 90,000 visitors in the winter, and 3,000 visitors in the summer.
  • Using the historical daily demand for Castle Mountain Resort, per capita demands of 260 lpcd (litres per capita per day) and 40 lpcd were calculated for accommodation units and day use visitors, respectively, during the winter months.
  • During the summer months, accommodation units are the primary water user at Castle Mountain Resort. There are currently no summer use facilities for day use visitors. Based on the historical records for summer months, a per capita demand of 210 lpcd was calculated for the accommodation units in the summer.
  • A 2% annual growth rate was used to determine the projected populations for the urban centers included in the study.
  • The MD has expressed concerns regarding the 2% growth rate used for Beaver Mines. The MD is expecting additional growth within Beaver Mines once the water and sewer servicing projects are completed. Additional growth within Beaver Mines could be a result of smaller lot requirements as outlined in the MD's land use bylaw, expansion of the Hamlet's boundaries, and increased commercial development due to the proposed expansion at Castle Mountain Resort.
  • Castle Mountain Resort has completed a master development plan which summarizes their plans for future development within the resort including an increased number of ski trails, accommodation units,and other winter activities.
  • Alberta Parks is in the process of finalizing the "Castle Management Plan."
  • The Castle Mountain Resort Master Development Plan projects that visitation during the winter months (ski season) will go from 90,000 under the current conditions to 156,000. Visitation in the summer months is projected to increase from 3,000 to 30,000.
  • Based on information provided by Alberta Parks, it was assumed by the study that only half of the 400 campsites planned for Castle Provincial Parks would be serviced.
  • It was assumed by the study that facilities throughout Castle Provincial Park would be serviced by trickle fill systems or localized storage and distribution systems.
  • The Cowley-Lundbreck Regional Water Treatment Plant receives its water from the Castle River through an infiltration gallery that is connected to two raw water wells. Each well has a submersible pump to transfer the raw water through 10 km of 150 mm PVC pipeline to the water treatment plant. The treatment process at the plant includes coagulation, flocculation, membrane filtration, and chlorine disinfection. Treated water is stored in a 1,500 m3 above ground, circular, concrete storage reservoir. The water treatment plant supplies treated water to Lundbreck using two 15 HP, end-suction pumps. Cowley is supplied by two 5 HP end-suction pumps and a 20 HP end-suction pump to provide fire flows.
  • The MD is in the process of transitioning its raw water supply from the Castle River to the Old Man Reservoir. A raw water supply line was installed in 2016 to provide emergency water supply to the water treatment plant. This supply line will be used for a new permanent intake structure as well. A new raw water intake in the Old Man Reservoir will be designed to supply the necessary flows to meet the proposed maximum day demand of the regional water system serviced by the water treatment plant. Design of the raw water intake has been delayed due to the possible addition of Castle Mountain Resort and Castle Provincial Park to the regional water system. Their additional maximum day demands will now be accounted for in the design of the new raw water intake.
  • The existing 150 mm raw water pipeline from Castle River to the water treatment plant is to be re-purposed for treated water use. It will not be increased in size.
  • The MD has stated that it will continue to hold the diversion license for all urban centers and water users supplied by the Cowley-Lundbreck Regional Water Treatment Plant. The MD is currently in the process of applying for a Water Act license to divert water from the Old Man Reservoir. The MD will need to include the projected water demand of by 598 m3/Day for Castle Mountain Resort and Castle Provincial Park in their application for a new diversion license. The MD will need to add Castle Mountain Resort and Castle Provincial Park as points of use within the diversion license.
  • Increased availability of treated water throughout Castle Provincial Park and at Castle Mountain Resort will impact the capacity and need for wastewater treatment facilities.
  • Castle Provincial Parks does not currently have any facilities capable of holding and/or treating wastewater. Due to the lack of information currently available regarding future development throughout Castle Provincial Park, it is not possible to identify the most suitable location for a RV sani-dump site for the region. Alberta Parks also indicated that they are not interested in competing with private companies or municipalities that provide dumping facilities. As such it is recommended that the MD consider the merits of constructing a sani-dump facility at or near the boundary of Beaver Mines. Assuming wastewater generation to be collected by a sani-dump facility is equivalent to 0.9 times the average daily water demand of serviced campsites in the region, average daily wastewater flows would be equal to 17 m3/Day.

1 comment:

  1. Many (most?) live and play in this area because we were looking for a small community. I always thought the attraction of the Castle Ski Hill was the small size, a place where you could go and see familiar faces.
    Between the Castle Provincial Park and Beaver Mines, our provincial government (with some funding coming from the feds) is spending around $30 million putting in services to facilitate growth. They will spend even more in the future to handle the wastewater generated by all the people they attract to this area. Who asked for all this development? Who is going to get rich from all this? Is this what the NDP meant when they talked about "protecting the Castle"?


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