The route is nearly mapped out for a $42-million regional sewer line that will pipe waste water from Sylvan Lake to Red Deer.
Red Deer city council has approved a right-of-way expropriation for a last section — east of the CP Rail line to a consolidation station east of Gaetz Avenue — if needed.
But Robert Jenkins, chief administrative officer for the Sylvan Lake Regional Wastewater Commission, said another path across 1.5 kilometres of partially public land is still under consideration, so the expropriation for an easement might not be required.
“We’re still hoping for a slightly different route,” he said.
The goal is to have the project ready by April 10, and to be piping wastewater by May from Sylvan Lake, the Summer Villages and parts of Red Deer and Lacombe counties to Red Deer’s wastewater treatment centre.
Jenkins said Sylvan Lake’s aging wastewater treatment centre can’t keep up with population growth. “It’s at the point where it can’t handle anything. It’s at the maximum capacity.”
The Sylvan Lake Regional Wastewater Commission was formed in 2008, comprised of the town, the summer villages of Sun Breaker Cove, Birchcliff, Norglenwold, Half Moon Bay and Jarvis Bay, as well as Red Deer and Lacombe counties.
To accommodate regulatory requirements and support future population growth, these communities opted for a regional pipeline to send sewage to Red Deer for treatment.
The city’s facility already accepts regional wastewater from communities in the south and north.
Jenkins said the Sylvan Lake project is being done in several sections. A lift station is already under construction near the Sylvan Lake lagoon.
Design is complete and construction is starting to lay nine kilometres of pipeline from Sylvan Lake to Poplar Ridge.
Construction is underway to accommodate nine kilometre of pipeline from Poplar Ridge to Highway 2.
Design is complete on a plan to drill and put steel casing and pipe beneath Highway 2 and the CP Rail line within the City of Red Deer limits. Construction has not yet begun.
Design work is still being done on where to lay the pipeline from the CP Rail line to the consolidation station. Jenkins hopes a final decision will be made by the end of the month.
Once this regional line is operational, Jenkins said 5,000 cubic metres of sewage a day from west of the city will be piped to Red Deer’s treatment facility.