Penhold residents may find their water has a distinctive chlorine taste soon.
The community is boosting the amount of chlorine in its water to meet new Alberta Environment standards.
Mayor Dennis Cooper said chlorine will be boosted until a $750,000 water treatment plant upgrade is completed late this year.
Work planned involves adding three new pumps, a power plant and chlorine mixing tank. Upgrades will also boost water pressure in the town of 2,500.
“One of the steps we have to do in the first part is to make sure the chlorine is at a certain level so we’ve upped the chlorine content,” he said.
It is hoped treatment plant work can begin in the spring, but that will depend on the availability of provincial funding.
“Right now we’re waiting for the provincial budget. Last year, the province told us basically we could get funding for this and when we came to get the funding they said, ‘Sorry, there’s no money left. You can’t have any funding.’
“So we delayed the project for a year hoping the province will maybe find a few more shekels in their pocket and be able to help our town out.”
Provincial funding would cover up to 45 per cent of the cost, or about $380,000.
Cooper said improving the water supply is important because the town is growing quickly.
“We had over 80 homes built last year, which doesn’t sound like a lot by Red Deer standards, but for a little town of our size we’re growing at about 10 per cent a year.”
About 20,000 square feet of retail space is being built this year and a new high school is under construction.