Sylvan boosts sewage treatment

Neighbouring communities could soon truck their sewage to Sylvan Lake for treatment.

SYLVAN LAKE — Neighbouring communities could soon truck their sewage to Sylvan Lake for treatment.

Town Council agreed on Tuesday to expand its waste water treatment system, which involves a series of lagoons.

The expansion would enable other communities around the lake, including summer villages and acreage developments in Red Deer and Lacombe Counties, to have their waste water treated in the town’s lagoon system.

The expansion is planned as a temporary measure, meant to cover local needs until a regional pipeline is built to carry waste water into Red Deer for treatment.

Expected to become operational in five years, the regional line would carry sewage from Olds, Bowden, Innisfail, Penhold, Blackfalds and Lacombe as well as from the communities around Sylvan Lake, council heard.

The decision to move ahead with Phase 1 of the $3-million expansion project was made following a report delivered by Bob Jenkins, former CAO for the Town of Lacombe and now working with Stantec Consulting.

Jenkins told town council that, as long as the system is built to serve the region, the province would cover 96 per cent of the costs of upgrading Sylvan Lake’s existing system.

The balance of $132,000 would be the responsibility of the municipalities, he said.

The system requires a number of upgrades, including increased pumping capacity, improved aeration and increased volume of its storage cells, said Jenkins.

The upgrade approved on Tuesday would include a receiving station that would be built near the lift station to take waste trucked in from nearby communities.

Jenkins said the town could expect 28 trucks per day, so recommended building two stations, which would allow two trucks to unload at the same time.

Councillor Richard Backs stated that the town could take on the project itself, and then recover most of its share of the costs through fees charged to participating communities.

Jenkins recommended performing the upgrade in two stages, with the receiving station to be included in the first phase, estimated at $1.2 million.

Once the regional pipeline is hooked up, the town’s treatment system would be closed, with two of the lagoon’s existing cells retained for emergency storage, which would be needed at times of heavy rainfail, said Jenkins.

Other items on Sylvan Lake’s Tuesday agenda included:

l Councillors Ken MacVicar and Richard Backs said people are abusing a bylaw that allows people to ride quads and snowmobiles in town, with some restrictions. Council will bring the bylaw to a public meeting this fall to determine if residents support the bylaw or would rather have it rescinded.

l Calgary-based SKMG Construction Ltd. has been awarded the tender to build the town’s new RCMP building, at a cost of $4.35 million. Project manager Bill Johnston said the company is ready to start as soon as it can get onto the site.

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