Testing the pipes
City of Charlottetown gets ready to bring new wellfield project online
The future of Charlottetown’s water supply will be flowing freely by the end of the year.
After years of talking and planning, the capital city’s new wellfield will be fully activated.
Coun. Eddie Rice, chairman of the city’s Water and Sewer Utility committee, said testing is currently underway on the new pipes.
“Water is flowing through them after all this time,’’ Rice said during an interview after Monday’s regular public meeting of council. “We will be opening them up as far as public consumption goes later in the month to next month. We will be running water, fresh new Miltonvale water through before the end of the year.’’
If that sounds a bit confusing, Charlottetown residents will be drinking the new water, but the new wells won’t be running full out until the end of the year.
Rice added that the end of the month/next month timeline is a best-case-scenario, and that it could be a couple of months away.
Miltonvale is a reference to Miltonvale Park where the new wellfield was built a cost of just under $20 million. The federal government picked up half of the bill with the province and City of Charlottetown splitting the other half.
As of right now, the Winter River-Tracadie Bay Watershed is the only source of water for Charlottetown. There have been numerous news stories about the drain on that watershed and the need for an alternate source of water. The Miltonvale Park water source is expected to take some of the pressure off the Winter River watershed.
Drilling began at the Miltonvale site four years ago.
“It was all part of the plan, it was just a matter of money. We’ve had the greatest support from the feds, the province and the city giving their part and it cost the taxpayer of Charlottetown a very reasonable figure.
The foundations for the new water reservoirs have been completed, and construction of the first tank will begin this week.
“They are large, extremely large, the biggest, in fact, in the province. They will be constructed and ready, again, this year.’’
That’ll provide a home to store the water before it flows into Charlottetown.
In other water-related news, the new Fitzroy Street sewer lift station is operational.
The city is currently in the process of decommissioning the old station.
In addition, anyone driving by the Charlottetown Pollution Control Plant may have noticed a large crane working. It was moved into place last week to lift the lid off the second digester.
The city is currently completing refurbishment of the lid and adding a new mixing system.
Coun. Eddie Rice, chairman of Charlottetown’s Water and Sewer Utility committee, says water will begin flowing from the new wellfield in Miltonvale Park as early as later this month and no later than November. When all is said and done, it will provide a second source of water for the capital city.