City starts project to deal with back­wash wa­ter at wa­ter treat­ment plant

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - CLASSIFIED­S - By Matthew Lieben­berg mlieben­[email protected]­

The City of Swift Cur­rent has ap­proved ini­tial fund­ing for a project to change the way back­wash wa­ter at the wa­ter treat­ment plant is han­dled.

Coun­cil­lors ap­proved a mo­tion at a reg­u­lar coun­cil meet­ing on March 9 to ap­point MPE En­gi­neer­ing Ltd. to pre­pare a de­sign and do the ten­der and con­tract ad­min­is­tra­tion for the project.

The City sent out a re­quest for pro­pos­als to three en­gi­neer­ing firms, and MPE En­gi­neer­ing Ltd. submitted the low­est bid of $101,685.86 (PST in­cluded, GST ex­cluded). A to­tal amount of $600,000 was al­lo­cated in the 2020 cap­i­tal bud­get for the wa­ter treat­ment plant resid­ual man­age­ment project.

The City needs to carry out this project to com­ply with Saskatchew­an Wa­ter Se­cu­rity Agency (WSA) reg­u­la­tions for the col­lec­tion and dis­posal of resid­ual back­wash wa­ter and chlo­ri­nated fil­ter back­wash wa­ter at the wa­ter treat­ment plant.

Chief Ad­min­is­tra­tive Of­fi­cer Tim Mar­cus said the City has been look­ing at var­i­ous op­tions to deal with the back­wash wa­ter and they feel this plan will pro­vide the most ef­fec­tive way to han­dle it.

“It’s been bandied back and forth for about four years,” he men­tioned af­ter the meet­ing. “We’ve had dif­fer­ent so­lu­tions pro­posed, but at the end of the day this is the most ef­fec­tive one. It doesn’t re­quire any ex­tra work by any­body, be­cause we’re just go­ing to dump it in our sewer and let the waste­water treat­ment plant han­dle it.”

There is now some ur­gency to the com­ple­tion of the project, be­cause the City will have to com­ply with the guide­lines for the treat­ment of the back­wash wa­ter be­fore WSA con­sid­ers the re­newal of the op­er­at­ing li­cense for the wa­ter treat­ment plant in 2021. The in­ten­tion there­fore is to carry out the project dur­ing the 2020 con­struc­tion sea­son.

“The project to han­dle the back­wash would be to bore un­der­ground from the wa­ter treat­ment plant to the area’s lift sta­tion, which is just on the other side of the Chi­nook Golf Course club house, and tie into that,” he said. “Then they would fol­low our reg­u­lar san­i­tary sewer sys­tem, which even­tu­ally ends up at the waste­water treat­ment plant. The waste­water treat­ment plant would han­dle the resid­u­als in terms of re­mov­ing them from the wa­ter be­fore the wa­ter goes back to the creek.”

The City’s cur­rent prac­tice is to re­turn the resid­ual ma­te­rial in the back­wash wa­ter to the creek when the fil­ters have trapped a cer­tain amount of ma­te­rial.

“We have a bunch of fil­ters when we first take the wa­ter out of the creek and they re­move a lot of the solids that are in the wa­ter,” he ex­plained. “Un­til now the prac­tise has been that when the fil­ters are full or they need to be cleaned, we back­wash them. We bring wa­ter in be­hind and pump it through the fil­ter and push the resid­u­als back into the creek where they came from.”

The resid­ual ma­te­rial in the back­wash wa­ter can vary from fine par­ti­cles to leaves in the fall and any other items stopped by the fil­ters at the wa­ter treat­ment plant.

“Some­time ago the reg­u­la­tions changed and then the Wa­ter Se­cu­rity Agency did not want us to put the im­pu­ri­ties we re­moved from the wa­ter back into the creek any­more,” he said. “They wanted us to han­dle them in another man­ner.”

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