Buf­falo Treat­ment Plant to see ma­jor up­grades

Moose Jaw Express.com - - News -

After al­most 30 years, the Buf­falo Wa­ter Treat­ment Plant will be re­ceiv­ing well needed up­grades.

The Government of Saskatchewan re­cently an­nounced more than $20 mil­lion in fed­eral-pro­vin­cial fund­ing to up­grade elec­tri­cal systems at the Buf­falo Pound Wa­ter Treat­ment Plant. The re­main­der of the es­ti­mated $32.1 mil­lion project will be funded by the Buf­falo Pound Wa­ter Treat­ment Cor­po­ra­tion, which is owned by the cities of Regina and Moose Jaw.

Work in­volves re­plac­ing the plant’s ag­ing elec­tri­cal sub­sta­tion, im­prov­ing the power sup­ply and up­grad­ing the raw wa­ter pumps to pre­vent fu­ture elec­tri­cal fail­ures. Once com­plete, this work will en­sure the plant has a re­li­able and sus­tain­able source of back-up power to min­i­mize ser­vice in­ter­rup­tions and pre­vent drink­ing wa­ter ad­vi­sories for the ap­prox­i­mately 260,000 res­i­dents it serves.

“Th­ese vi­tal up­grades to the Buf­falo Pound Wa­ter Treat­ment Plant will en­sure res­i­dents of Regina and Moose Jaw have an un­in­ter­rupted sup­ply of high-qual­ity drink­ing wa­ter for years to come,” said Ralph Goodale, Min­is­ter of Pub­lic Safety and Emer­gency Pre­pared­ness, on be­half of François-Philippe Cham­pagne, Min­is­ter of In­fra­struc­ture and Com­mu­ni­ties, and Government Re­la­tions Min­is­ter War­ren Kaed­ing. “Canada’s in­vest­ment in this project un­der­lines our com­mit­ment to pro­tect­ing pub­lic health and our qual­ity of life, all while bol­ster­ing eco­nomic growth and a strong mid­dle class.”

Ryan John­son, Buf­falo Pound Wa­ter Treat­ment Cor­po­ra­tion says the up­grade is wel­comed be­cause the fa- cil­ity hasn’t been up­graded in 30 years. “The treat­ment plant is owned by the Cities of Regina and Moose Jaw. It is run un­der an in­de­pen­dent Board of Di­rec­tors as a non-profit cor­po­ra­tion. The wa­ter treat­ment plant it­self was com­mis­sioned back in 1955 and the last ma­jor work was done was 1989 when they ex­panded the plant. The treat­ment plant pro­duces potable wa­ter for the Cities of Regina and Moose Jaw and we sup­ply wa­ter to ap­prox­i­mately 260,000 peo­ple in the region. So, for the most part, we’re the sole source of wa­ter for those com­mu­ni­ties that are on the sys­tem,” said John­son. “Typ­i­cally, a wa­ter treat­ment plant will un­dergo ren­o­va­tions ev­ery 20 or so years and we’re pretty much ap­proach­ing the 30 year mark since the last time we’ve done ma­jor up­grades. We are near the end of life with our as­sets that can cause fre­quency in breaks. Over the last 5 years, we’ve seen an in­crease in main­te­nance and things we had to do to keep func­tion­ing. ”

John­son said a busi­ness case was de­vel­oped which iden­ti­fied what areas of the plant that need to be ad­dressed im­me­di­ately. “We started a busi­ness case in 2016, com­pleted in 2017 and we found that we re­ally needed to look at do­ing ma­jor work at the plant. We have done about 30 re­search projects on things at the plant that we know needs to be dealt with. What we don’t know is other things that haven’t failed yet or could fail soon be­cause we haven’t looked at ev­ery as­pect of the fa­cil­ity. With the busi­ness case, we looked at the prob­lems that we know about. It iden­ti­fied that we needed to start do­ing some­thing now and over the next 5 years.” He ex­plained the next steps go­ing for­ward. “What we’re do­ing now is go­ing out in the mar­ket to find de­sign­ing and con­struc­tion teams to do work at the fa­cil­ity. We’ll choose up to three teams or groups of com­pa­nies to short­list to do some de­sign work and we will choose the best de­sign at a cer­tain stage. Sub­se­quently, we’ll de­cide if we’ll pro­ceed with that de­sign. We hope to se­lect the teams by the end of this year and de­sign will start in Jan­uary. In late 2019, we’ll pick one of those teams to con­tinue with the process. We should start see­ing some con­struc­tion in 2020. The whole process won’t be com­plete un­til about 2023. That’s our goal.”

The City of Moose Jaw wel­comed the re­cent an­nounce­ment. “This is tremen­dous news for Moose Jaw res­i­dents and all Buf­falo Pound Wa­ter Treat­ment Plant cus­tomers,” Mayor Fraser Tolmie said. “The im­por­tance of a safe wa­ter sup­ply can’t be over-stated, and we are grate­ful to the fed­eral and pro­vin­cial govern­ments for their sig­nif­i­cant part­ner­ship stake in th­ese cru­cial plant up­grades.”

“The Buf­falo Pound Wa­ter Treat­ment Cor­po­ra­tion is ex­tremely pleased with this fund­ing an­nounce­ment of fi­nan­cial sup­port by the Govern­ments of Canada and Saskatchewan for the Elec­tri­cal Cap­i­tal Up­grades Project,” Buf­falo Pound Wa­ter Treat­ment Cor­po­ra­tion Board Chair Dale Schof­fer said. “Th­ese funds will be used to re­place elec­tri­cal in­fra­struc­ture that has reached the end of its life and in­creases the re­li­a­bil­ity of the sup­ply of potable wa­ter to the Cities of Regina and Moose Jaw and the Region we serve.”

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