Hunt begins for long-term water supply

Communities around Sylvan Lake want to find the best source for a long-term supply of water.

Communities around Sylvan Lake want to find the best source for a long-term supply of water.

Sylvan Lake Regional Water Services Commission (SLRWSC), which includes representatives from eight municipalities around the lake, has issued a request for proposals for a regional water feasibility study.

In its description of the project, the commission notes that it “is in the process of determining the best alternative to a long-term supply of water to the communities in the Sylvan Lake area.

“To address the requirements of acquiring a dependable, high-quality service, the SLRWSC is proceeding with a phased approach to determining the best alternative — ground water or surface water source,” says the description.

The deadline for submitting a proposal is 2 p.m. on Thursday.

Myra Reiter, administrator for the summer villages, said summer village residents get their water from individual wells. The Town of Sylvan Lake also relies on well water.

In the future, communities want to move towards regional systems to provide water and take away waste water. Where the water will come from and how the system will be developed has not yet been decided. That’s the kind of information that will come out of the study, she said.

“I think they to want to be sure and have a review and evaluation done to make sure they are doing the right thing,” said Reiter.

There is enough water available for summer village residents now. However, growing numbers of people are expected to move into lakeside communities and other areas in coming years and municipalities want to be sure there will be enough water.

Companies and their proposals will be reviewed by the commission’s technical committee. The entire commission will be involved in interviewing potential consultants. Alberta’s Environment and Transportation departments will also be invited to be part of the process.

Reiter said the cost of the study won’t be known until proposals are reviewed. Communities involved will share the cost and provincial grants will also be pursued.

The commission is comprised of representatives from the Town of Sylvan Lake, Red Deer and Lacombe Counties, and the Summer Villages of Birchcliff, Norglenwold, Jarvis Bay, Half Moon Bay and Sunbreaker Cove.