The clock is ticking on the Town of Sylvan Lake’s drinking water supply.
To ensure water is there to meet future growth, town council is backing a $100,000 plan to hire consultants to identify new potable water sources.
Despite its lakeside location, the town is served by seven shallow wells, which provide only enough water to serve a population of about 18,000. Based on present growth rates, the town could hit that by 2020.
“Only a relatively short window exists for finding additional supply to allow continued growth,” says a report to council.
Water must be found to cover the period from 2018 to around 2023-25, when a pipeline from the Red Deer River is likely to supply water. Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development does not permit withdrawing water from the lake.
The most likely source will be from wells deeper than the shallow wells the town now uses.
Aquifer mapping, well reports and a detailed hydrological report will be needed before the town can apply to the province for additional licences.
Once feasible water sources are found, the town will need to negotiate with landowners for wells and pipeline easements.
Consultants are expected to be chosen in April.