Water and wastewater infrastructure projects may not be glamorous but they are critical infrastructure, according to the provincial government.
At a press conference in Sylvan Lake on Monday, the province announced more than $131 million in grants for rural water infrastructure across Alberta.
The province will foot $37.08 million of the estimated $41.2 million wastewater line from Sylvan Lake to Red Deer.
Work can now begin on the detailed design part of the project, Sylvan Lake Mayor Sean McIntyre said.
Though a firm timeline has not been set, he estimated it will take two years to complete construction of the line.
“It’s really vital for the community today and not just down the road,” said McIntyre. “Treating wastewater is something that happens in an automatic sense – when you flush the toilet the water goes away. The reality is municipalities are charged with responsibly treating it and reentering it into the environment in a sustainable and responsible way.”
When built, the line will run along the Hwy 11A corridor from Sylvan Lake to Red Deer and connect with the Red Deer wastewater treatment plant.
The line will transport wastewater from Sylvan Lake; the surrounding summer villages including Norglenwold Birchcliff, Half Moon Bay, Jarvis Bay and Sunbreaker Cove; and Red Deer and Lacombe counties.
Alberta Infrastructure Minister Brian Mason said it was part of a five-year infrastructure plan aimed at keeping people working and taking advantage of lower priced tenders. The Alberta government estimates the grant funding will create 900 jobs across the province.
“If they’re not there, you sure miss them,” said Mason. “Right now it’s out of sight out of mind. You expect everything to be OK. It takes a lot of work by local people, politicians and municipal staff in order to make these things go. To give people clean drinking water and to make sure there’s no contamination from wastewater.”
The Central Alberta line was one of 29 projects that will receive funding through the Water for Life and the Alberta Municipal Water/Wastewater Partnership grand programs.