Sylvan Lake is considering running a temporary sewage line to Red Deer until a permanent version is ready.
The above-ground pipeline would carry treated sewage from Sylvan Lake’s wastewater lagoons to Red Deer’s treatment plant until the already-announced permanent line is ready in about two years.
Sylvan Lake public works director Dave Brand said the town is required now to make changes to its treatment system to meet stringent new wastewater regulations.
The temporary line is being explored as a potentially less costly option than upgrading the town’s wastewater treatment system to bridge the gap until the regional sewage line is operating.
Last month, Alberta Infrastructure Minister Brian Mason pledged $37 million towards the long-awaited $41-million regional line.
Besides Sylvan Lake, the line will serve five summer villages and parts of Red Deer and Lacombe counties. It is in the design stages but may not be fully operational until 2020.
Brand said the town has received “very high-level ballpark numbers” of $2 million to $2.5 million per year as the cost of upgrading the town’s wastewater treatment system until then.
“That doesn’t make sense to bring in package treatment plants and do that level of treatment now with the announcement of the permanent line,” said Brand.
A request for proposals for a temporary line and pump system are due by the end of the month. Then, the town will know whether it is a more affordable option than upgrading the wastewater treatment system.
The temporary line would carry wastewater treated to an irrigation-quality level. However, it would not meet the most stringent fishery or long-term standards required for it to be disposed of in the creek.
Sylvan Lake has provincial approval to dispose of its wastewater twice a year, usually in the spring or fall, if it meets required standards.